Chichester Festival Theatre

The iconic, Grade II* Listed Chichester Festival Theatre was designed by Powell and Moya and opened in 1962. Based on Tyronne Guthrie’s Festival Theatre in Stratford, Ontario, it boasted the first modern ‘thrust’ stage auditorium in the country. Over the past fifty years it has been a hugely successful and influential centre for the performing arts and has been extended on a number of occasions to address changing demands, leading to a dilution of the original design.

The recent refurbishment, designed by architects Haworth Tompkins, involved the construction of new-build, back-of-house areas that add approximately 50% to the floor area. The unique setting and listed status mean that modernisation of services and facilities must give clarity to the original design. 

The 1,300-seat auditorium was fully refurbished as part of the works, which included the complete replacement by Skelly & Couch of all mechanical and electrical services using sustainable technologies to minimise future running costs and reduce CO2 emissions. A ground source heat pump provides the majority of the heating and cooling and the ventilation system within the theatre has been significantly re-designed to increase comfort. Close co-ordination with the architects allowed the integration of substantially improved thermal elements and new plant within an extremely tight envelope.

Skelly & Couch’s role was to advise on the environmental and services aspects of the project and to work with the theatre specialists to ensure the successful delivery of the Theatre ready for the 2014 summer season.

* 2016 CIBSE Building Performance Awards - Chichester Festival Theatre shortlisted as Project of the Year - Leisure.

* Winner of FIVE 2015 RIBA South East Awards *

* 2015 Civic Trust Commendation *

* A finalist in the International Architecture Awards, the most extensive global architecture awards programme in the world, with 43 nations represented.*