The Royal Shakespeare Company renovated the Royal Shakespeare Theatre as part of a £112.8m transformation project. The project also included improvements to the Swan Theatre, the creation of an array of new public spaces, including a new Riverside Cafe and Rooftop Restaurant, a 36-meter (118 ft) observation tower, and improved backstage conditions for the actors and crew. DMA proved capable of working within architecturally sensitive environments; this project had to be completed according to very strict corporate guidelines. Throughout this project, we had to remain faithful in communicating the client’s heritage and identity throughout, which included prototyping and colour matching the client’s specified finishes across various elements. The main role of the new scheme was to emphasise the building’s brand and heritage, as well as create an inviting environment for visitors.
Considering the scale of the project, time was short and, due to the complicated scope of signage elements and architecture that blended old with new, this also included challenging graphical and practical issues to overcome. Theatre Square was the main external signage location, with a cluster of six large double-sided illuminated monolith signs.To respond to the scale of the square, the signs were sized to be visible above the heads of pedestrians from a distance whilst allowing detail to be presented at close range.
Bespoke applications included cast zinc benefactor walls, finished using the revolutionary Metall-FX process, involving artisan hand finishing, polishing and painting of multiple layers to achieve the appearance of solid, aged zinc which match the other architectural details.