A complete package of functional and aesthetically pleasing ironmongery
As part of a huge renovation of the oldest theatre in London, Lloyd Worrall’s London branch, Yannedis, was on hand to deliver a complete package of functional and aesthetically pleasing ironmongery.
With over 350 years of theatrical history and situated right in the heart of London’s West End district, in January 2019 the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, underwent an ambitious £60 million refurbishment project to restore the historic building. Owned and operated by LW Theatres, the scheme concentrated on restoring the clarity and elegance of the original iteration of the building.
The two-year restoration project encompassed every aspect of the building including the complete renovation of entryways and the auditorium, to create a more comfortable and welcoming space for the public. While it was important to retain the original features of the building, the objective was also to make improvements for today’s theatre goer. A newly designed and contemporary front-of-house and exciting new food and drink spaces were implemented to make the theatre an entertainment and cultural destination to enjoy throughout the day – and the first theatre in London’s West End to offer this experience.
Yannedis was bought into the project with architects Haworth Tompkins based on the specialist door hardware and ironmongery supplier’s previous work on the restoration and modernisation of the Grade II* listed Chichester Festival Theatre.
Dan Watkins, Property & Projects Director at LW Theatres explained: “The restoration project at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane was a once in century opportunity to bring a Grade I listed building into the 21st century. To a large extent, the project team were tasked with undoing many of the changes made to the building during the last redevelopment in 1922 and reveal the Georgian interiors of the 1812 Wyatt building.”
Dan continued, “Haworth Tompkins worked closely with the team at Yannedis who were challenged with implementing a robust range of door hardware solutions throughout the theatre while also coordinating a balance between old and new. Yannedis were successful in sewing the original aesthetic and intention with the demanding modern requirements of a new building.”
Yannedis supplied a range of cohesive ironmongery including electromagnetic locks, polished brass pull handles and push plates, lock cylinders and kick plates to seamlessly blend into the interior design vision of the project. The team also specified solutions from access and security manufacturer, dormakaba with floorsprings, concealed overhead door closers and surface fixed, electromagnetic hold open devices in a polished brass finish.
“We understand how even the smallest of detail can contribute to the overall interior aesthetic, so it was particularly important that the new ironmongery for this project was in keeping with the impressive and original architectural features of the space and complement what was already in situ,” said Graham Thomas, Branch Manager at Yannedis. “This influenced our choice of finish and style when recommending door hardware, with the intent to restore the venue to its former glory, central to every decision” he added.
For a discrete finish, the dormakaba floorsprings and concealed overhead door closers offered the functionality required for a modern building while blending with the historic features. As a busy building, particularly during show times, hold open devices were specified for areas with a high footfall. This included dormakaba TS73 EMF Free Swing door closers which are surface fixed to hold open the door to allow unrestricted flow through the building, whilst providing critical fire protection in line with fire and building regulations.
Now that the building is in use, Yannedis has continued to work closely with the theatre, to provide support and assist with any changing requirements of the building.
As an extraordinary project, and thanks to the collaboration of a number of stakeholders, LW Theatres can now proudly offer the Theatre Royal Drury Lane as a world-class, accessible and functional building, entertainment and cultural venue, fit for the next 100 years.