Fluid Structures have been appointed to act as façade engineers for the new Shakespeare North Theatre which is to be built in Knowsley near Liverpool. Knowsley was once home to the only free standing Elizabethan theatre outside of London. The theatre aims to celebrate this heritage and bring Shakespearean Theatre back to the area. The theatre is a complex of buildings containing a Shakespearean Playhouse and a wrap around building which provides space for front and back of house facilities and education and community amenities. The new playhouse will be a replica of the 17th Century Cockpit-in-Court theatre in London.
The façade engineering will involve developing a number of the key façades in glass, including the “zig zag” glass panels and their interfaces with other elements. For the main facade the panels are some 13.5 metres high and approximately 1 metre deep. The intention is to try and develop a design that allows for these elements to be erected as one full height piece. The main glass façade is approximately 24m long and the rhythm of the glass is then repeated in stone elements albeit of a slightly different scale.
This language of glass zig zag panels will also be developed to allow light into the theatre box via openings in the east and west elevation.