Old Vic Annex

The two-part project is a redevelopment of back-of-house spaces followed by a new-build six-storey extension to the rear of the world-famous Grade II*-listed theatre in London’s Waterloo.

The new annex will feature a triple-height street café and script library, a writers’ room, a Clore Learning Centre for education and participation activities, a new green room, and roof-top event space. 

The principles of sustainability and regenerative design have informed the intelligent re-use of the existing building and the design of an exemplar low-carbon extension, incorporating a timber frame, natural ventilation and solar shading formed of repurposed theatre lighting components.

Skelly & Couch’s innovative controlled design and thermal modelling ensure that the flexible function use/high occupancy spaces in the annex will be reliant on natural ventilation to provide summertime thermal comfort, representing a departure from the common comfort cooling deployed. 

Notably, we: 

  • Redeveloped and rationalised electrical services throughout the back of house, including a new static inverter. 

  • Designed services to provide for the adaption of the current rehearsal room to  a low-fi 150-seater auditorium. 

  • Introduced natural ventilation throughout the annex with the omission of comfort cooling. Our strategy uses natural forces to provide summertime thermal comfort. 

  • Incorporated a low-temperature hot water system, with domestic hot water served by a rooftop air source heat pump.

  • Advised on the movement of critical services at the stage door new entrance – alarms and control.

The Old Vic Annex project is rated BREEAM ‘Excellent’.