ritchie*studio developed the concept design for the Kiln Theatre (née Tricycle Theatre) leading to a successful planning application and Arts Council England (ACE) stage two capital grant application. The transformation presented a fantastic opportunity to build on the success of its recent productions and translate these into a building worthy of this success.
ritchie*studio developed the design from extensive workshops, meetings and conversations with theatre staff and advisors from the industry who have worked in the space before. An original proposal developed the client’s overall dream, which was then rationalised into a scheme with the main auditorium at its heart. One key aspect was to preserve the ethos of the original, while consolidating the wishes of the Kiln to increase seat numbers while ensuring it would be affordable and more economically viable. Working within a tight site with limited scope for expansion, the design builds upon the existing footprint to reuse, redevelop and remodel the existing spaces and expanding upwards where necessary to create new spaces required by the Kiln.
The design provided a more sustainable theatre in terms of environmental impact – minimising heat loss, low demand for new materials through the reuse of existing fabric and improving the efficiency of the mechanical systems to reduce the energy consumption of the building.
At the heart of the project, the Kiln Theatre’s transformation was dedicated to developing an inclusive environment for all and an expanded FOH into a more welcoming environment for use by artists, patrons and local residents. By retaining existing elements of the theatre, the project respected the ‘ghosts’ of the past, while improving the working conditions within to enable the theatre to continue producing original and exciting work well into the future.
Post-planning the project was delivered by another architectural practice. The Kiln reopened in 2018. The spatial design of the FOH spaces, and the full auditorium design remained true to the ritchie*studio concept designs.