National Theatre

An £80m cutting edge development and refurbishment project.

Client National Theatre

The National Theatre is the centrepiece of the cultural hub on London’s South Bank, with its three theatres offering a creativity and diversity that engage with audiences of all nationalities. To sustain this appeal the National Theatre embarked on an £80m cutting edge development and refurbishment project entitled NT Future.

After a lengthy consultation period, during which Wood and Wood had to produce numerous prototypes that clearly demonstrated an affinity with the spirit of NT Future, we were delighted to be asked to provide all internal and external signage.

The Challenge

The National Theatre is a working theatre within a Denys Lasdun Grade II listed building and as such choice of materials had to be sympathetic to its needs and protocols at all times. The signage had to work with the boardwalk concrete construction, all letters and signs sized to fit perfectly within the boardmarking.

An extremely meticulous approach was needed from the very first design phases right through to final installation. There could be no margin for error or compromise on agreed designs or materials whatsoever, with all signs having to be designed, manufactured and installed exactly as specified by the client and architect. The theatre was fully operational throughout the process so installation had to be carried out with minimum disruption to its day to day workings as possible.

Our Solution

From the early stages Wood and Wood met with the architect to advise them on materials, products and process for the signs.  This close collaboration continued throughout the project. We eventually produced a full range of signage including main building signs, beacon totem signs, individual wayfinding signs, and illuminated exterior post cases; all of which met the design and installation criteria specified. We employed a wide range of materials including specially tuned white LEDs to ensure the correct temperature of light; powder coated panels; aluminium lettering anodised to Analok bronze finish; and rare earth magnets.

Working in conjunction with the client, architect and contractor we were able to ensure we minimised disruption at all times. For example; all drilling into reinforced concrete was carried out exclusively before 9.30am or between 1.30 and 2.30pm.

It was a task that called upon not only our unique in house design, manufacture and installation capabilities but also our vast experience and knowledge in identifying and sourcing the correct materials. The project was completed on time and on budget and it has been a great pleasure to be entrusted with such as prestigious task.

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