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Tuesday22 August 2017

Revamped theatre brings added drama to Livingston parkland

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Scottish practice Nicoll Russell Studios has gone on site with this £5.3 million theatre and community complex in Livingston.

The scheme redevelops and extends the Howden Park Centre, which is located in parkland and will provide a new home for the West Lothian Youth Theatre.

It includes a new 300-seat auditorium, dressing rooms, a bar, and flexible dance, art and multi-purpose studios The auditorium has a red interior, a dense concrete structure to maximise acoustic potential, and is timber-clad to complement the wooded landscape.

A fully glazed foyer wraps around the building, providing views out to the landscape beyond, and back through to the auditorium.

Scott Turpie, partner at Nicoll Russell Studios, said that the foyer eases previously difficult circulation around the building.

“The building had three ground floor levels, and had grown in a very ad hoc way, so the corridors were very dark and internalised,” he said. “We wanted to make it more accessible, so the main areas of the building will be on one level — with a ramp to the art gallery space and the multi-purpose hall.

“The wraparound foyer snakes around the building, which will improve the experience of visitors as they move around the centre, while playing to the strengths of its setting.”

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