The Palladian Assembly Hall and Playhouse (1783) was designed by John Roberts.  The Playhouse, occupying a third of the three bay structure was re-modelled into the present 3 level drum form in 1876.  The brief was all encompassing:  it included a complete overhaul of the auditorium, rake, seating, sightlines, hevac, control room, stage lighting and decoration.  The City Hall Vestibule was cleared of multiple accretions accumulated during 80’s and 90’s within the Mr. Roberts well proportioned space.  The most important innovation was the introduction of the new crossover linking the vestibule to the 1990’s foyer and the box office, reducing the size of the parterre but opening up the blanked off windows to the Mall.  Unused spaces within the City Hall were used to provide a new full height audience right staircase, Green Room and new toilets.  

The 1990’s wing, with curtain wall over looking the Mall, Bishops Palace and Cathedral, was re- worked to provide a restaurant/bar, offices and new box office.  The project was many faceted, involving a multi disciplined team, conservation related to a protected structure, archaeology associated with a National Monument, (City wall) the discovery of a Diocletian window, and a crown bottle top found under a supposedly 18th century floor.  The project was completed with the installation of chosen works for the Municipal Art Collection placed within the public spaces.

CLIENT TESTIMONIAL: Quote from Opening Night Speech. 

“The vision which I have had for this building is one which has formed my philosophy on civic spaces throughout my career.  The vision coheres around the idea of access and the fact that this building is now open during the day as well as in the evening, that it houses the Municipal Art Collection, that it boasts an already successful day time restaurant, that it can host conferences as well as performing arts events will, I hope, ensure that it re-assumes and extends its role as a place where people can congregate, where art in its popular and more challenging manifestations can be celebrated and a place in a sometimes prosaic world where poetry and the imagination can find expression.  I want to publicly acknowledge the pivotal and visionary role which the Architects played in fashioning this transformation and the role played by their associates.  Linking a modern extension with a Georgian vestibule, incorporation redundant City Hall rooms in to the theatre building, releasing and highlighting the elegant architectural features of this beautiful auditorium and overseeing the complete overhaul of the electrical and mechanical plant of the building has been a difficult and complex task which they have accomplished with skill and dedication”