New £750m Shoreditch Development Centred Around Remains of Shakespearean Theatre

02/08/16 |
Telegraph |
Isabelle Fraser
A massive £750m development in east London is being built on top of the remains of a Shakespearean theatre.

In the same year marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, construction is to begin on The Stage, a commercial and residential development in Shoreditch which will have flats arranged around a public square, showcasing the remains of the playwright's Curtain Theatre, where Romeo & Juliet and Henry V were first performed.

A heritage centre will display artefacts unearthed when the theatre was excavated, and there will be a glass platform above the remains which visitors can walk across. A 200-seat sunken amphitheatre will provide a venue for plays to be performed.

The development, by Galliard Homes, also includes the construction of a 37-floor tower, shops, restaurants and office buildings.

There will be 275,000 sq ft of office space, as well as 412 private sale apartments and penthouses and 400,000 sq ft of mixed use space.

The central plaza, located on Curtain Road, Shoreditch, will be one of the biggest in London. The development aslo includes a 19th century railway viaduct, the top of which will be made into a park.

The original theatre at the site was opened in 1577 and hosted performances from Shakespeare's Theatre Company. It was visited by both Queen Elizabeth I and her successor, James I, and was where where Ben Jonson’s ‘Every Man in His Humour’ was performed in 1598, with Shakespeare himself in the cast.

The theatre closed down in 1622 due to an economic downturn, and was subsequently buried beneath a Victorian goods yard. It was discovered 400 years later by excavators from the Museum of London Archaeology.

Architects Perkins + Will, the firm behind the Mary Rose heritage centre in Portsmouth, will design the heritage centre at The Stage.

The project is being developed by Galliard Homes, Cain Hoy, McCourt, Vanke, and the Estate Office Shoreditch.

The Stage will have a state-of-the-art gym with one-to-one training, toning, spa treatments, juice bars, chilled towels and luxury changing facilities.

Building works are due to start in April 2016, and will be finished in 2019.