The Stage – Commercial

Delivering commercial viability on a complex historical site

The Stage is a landmark 2.3 acre, £750m mixed-use development designed around a world-class heritage centre on the site of Shakespeare’s Curtain Theatre. It features two commercial office buildings – The Hewett with 70,000 sq ft over 8-storeys and The Bard with 110,000 sq ft of office space over 12-storeys – and a new basement (3 storeys over approximately half of the site footprint) to accommodate commercial floor space, plant, car and motorbike parking and cycle storage.

This mixed-use development on a protected historical site features two commercial office buildings. The development faced a number of significant challenges to the programme and viability that Walsh overcame through engineering design.

Initial historical studies had anticipated that the remains of Shakespeare’s Curtain Theatre would be circular in nature (similar to The Globe) and plans had been made around this. However, once uncovered, they proved to be square in shape and extend under the location for one of the commercial buildings. This presented a challenge to viability as reducing the footprint would reduce the amount of office space that could be delivered.

Walsh met this challenge by proposing placing two plunged column piles through the restricted area but locating them in less sensitive areas using the least intrusive method. This would eliminate transfer and open up the space to the public. To support this, a complex construction methodology was developed that demonstrated to Historic England that the proposed works could be safely carried out with little or no impact on the remains, before, during and after the construction. It was the first time that piles had ever been placed within the boundaries of a national monument and allowed the programme to stay on track.

Both buildings were originally designed as steel frames but needed to redesigned by Walsh as the project progressed to meet the emerging needs of the development. The Hewett was changed to a PT concrete slab design to provide the required dynamic performance needed to accommodate a possible gym tenant. The Bard was redesigned to use innovative bespoke fabricated beams which minimised tonnage whilst providing the large open spans and headroom required and reduced steel tonnage by approx. 20%.

The commercial buildings were made possible due to Walsh’s flexible and innovative approach to engineering design. Close liaison with third-parties and demonstrating the viability of these solutions allowed works to commence on schedule despite the challenges faced along the way.

  • Cain International
  • Galliard Homes Limited
  • Perkins+Will
Completion Date2021
  • London
  • Shoreditch
The Stage (Commerical) from Above
The Stage (Commercial) CGI

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Taking Sustainability Seriously

Sustainability is in our DNA and we have our own ambitious goals to achieve Net Zero as a business and with our designs. With innovative in-house monitoring tools, Walsh clients have seen on average reductions of 10-20% total embodied carbon, with some of our flagship work achieving 60-70% reductions compared with baseline figures.