West Yorkshire Playhouse
Leeds City Council
Quarry Hill, Leeds
A theatre turning to embrace the city
The West Yorkshire Playhouse is undergoing a significant refurbishment and extension, to create a new face for the theatre, create democratic access, form a new performance space and improve the hospitality and catering offer.
A significant extension and new frontage will be built on St. Peters Street, helping the theatre turn around to face the city centre. A new face to the Playhouse will be formed here, looking back towards Leeds, reflecting the creativity and diversity of activity within the building.
Access will be improved throughout the building, which will be better connected with the surrounding streetscape on St. Peters Street, Playhouse Square, and a new green space – Gateway Court – between the theatre and the new Leeds City College building. Access is being improved to the main theatre space – the Quarry – through the introduction of new entrances at mid-tier level, allowing better wheelchair viewing positions and an improved visitor journey.
An as-found new studio theatre space – the Rock Void – is being created in an existing rocky underground vault. This space will provide a new space for education and young artists programmes and for smaller and more experimental programming.
The existing restaurant and bar will be refurbished and expanded out into the new extension. A new box office and interval bar will be provided at the theatres mid-tier level, opening out to Gateway Court, and can be used as a terrace café in the summer time. A new café will be created within the new St Peters Street entrance, adding to the arrangement of new hospitality offers helping to animate the building and provide financial resilience to the theatre moving forward.