AHMM’s proposal for Birmingham Hippodrome introduces a new entrance facade to showcase what will be a broader, more audience focused cultural offer within the heart of the city. Bringing the activity within the theatre to the street edge has been achieved by placing a new café and performance space at ground level and extending the theatre’s restaurant at first floor level. Large windows frame this activity and open up to street side seating and a balcony above. A digital screen located directly above the main entrance increases the theatre’s presence and advertises its diverse programme.
The proposal includes a major refresh of the foyers at all levels with selective changes throughout the building. To accommodate existing changes in level within the main entrance foyer amphitheatre style seating will be created around a new performance space which can be opened up to the street for festival events.
The design also sees the introduction of two smaller-scale performance spaces at first floor level for a wider range of productions and events. The introduction of a new rehearsal/education space at the top of the building will provide the opportunity for the Hippodrome to develop its own productions and support visiting theatre companies.
These new interventions are conceived as part of a phased construction process allowing the theatre to operate throughout. A new secondary entrance will serve the theatre while refurbishment works are ongoing, and once these are complete, will be used as an additional exit point for the audience after a show.