Chichester Festival Theatre (CFT) is Grade ll* listed and considered one of the five most important ‘modernist’ theatres in England.
Opening in 1962, the theatre’s first artistic director was 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 was extensively redeveloped in a project named ‘Renew’ between 2012-2014. A part of this project concentrated on the repair of the concrete structure. Subsequently it was identified a continuous 26m2 area of concrete required more detailed and closer scrutiny due to concerns over its integrity.
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 the Faithful+Gould study were then exhaustively trialled during a period of testing and experimentation in conjunction with a specially selected conservation contractor and structural engineer.
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.
The ground-breaking achievement was recognised at The Civic Trust Awards (2020) - Europe’s longest running architectural and built environment awards programme – where this winning project was highly commended in the AABC Conservation Award category. The judges commented that, “the attention to detail, trials and execution carried out on site were all exceptional…illustrating exemplary practice in terms of conservation repair”.