Chichester Festival Theatre (CFT) is Grade ll* and considered one of the five most important ‘modernist’ theatres in England.
Opening in 1962, the theatre’s first artistic director was the famous Laurence Olivier. His vision for the theatre was to run several shows in repertoire using the same ensemble cast. This gave the feeling of a summer ‘festival’ of theatre.
The theatre has undergone various stages of restoration during its lifetime, with an extensive redevelopment named ‘Renew’ during 2012 – 2014. Following this, a continuous area of 26m2 of concrete required more detailed and closer scrutiny. A protective netting was wrapped around this area to provide protection whilst a permanent resolution was considered through consultation with the ‘Renew’ project team.
Richard Stocking and his team were appointed to undertake a feasibility study in 2016 examining an extensive selection of potential repair approaches. The recommendations of our study were then exhaustively trialled during a period of testing and experimentation in conjunction with a specially selected conservation contractor and structural engineer, which demonstrated the suitability of repairs. Faithful+Gould was then commissioned by CFT to implement and administer the repairs and closely liaise with heritage bodies and organisations. The repairs were successfully completed in May 2018 to great acclaim.
The repairs made by the team are thought to be some of the largest conservation concrete repairs undertaken in England and probably the UK.