The Rose Revealed examines, preserves, displays and interprets the Elizabethan Rose Playhouse, Bankside’s first Tudor Theatre, discovered during archaeological excavations in 1988. It will devise and implement cutting-edge conservation measures to ensure the continued existence of The Rose Playhouse, a Scheduled Ancient Monument (number 20851), which is currently at risk. The project will provide opportunities for visitors to learn about the heritage of the Rose and its place in the development of Elizabethan theatre and drama - a central feature of life on London’s Bankside. Opportunities to learn and participate are to be provided through activities, volunteering and training programmes and a publicly accessible archaeological excavation to reveal the previously-unexcavated eastern third of The Rose. It will deliver new visitor amenities with innovative interactive displays including some of 700 previously excavated objects and remains of The Rose. Modifications to the existing basement of Rose Court will provide over 310 sq m of new museum and exhibition space making 948 sq m in total available for activities and events. The project will offer unique opportunities for the public to engage with and learn about the only one out of ten of London's original Elizabethan theatres of which the foundations are almost entirely intact.
The three main aims of the project are: to ensure the long-term preservation of the remains of the Elizabethan Rose Playhouse, to provide the widest possible access to and enjoyment of The Rose Playhouse and to develop the physical, sensory and learning potential of The Rose Playhouse to the widest possible audience. This includes those interested in archaeology, history, literature, theatre history, scholarship, performance and general tourists who are visiting the Bankside area. Daily visitors will include students, exhibition visitors and other tourists, performance attendees and participants and those attending corporate or special events. Access for disabled visitors, including those with physical disabilities, sensory impairments and learning difficulties is required, as is improved access for socially excluded individuals. Engagement by people who may not traditionally engage with heritage, archaeology or theatre is encouraged.
In 2009 we were appointedfor RIBA Stages 1&2 and HLF bids and again in 2013 through acompetitive tender for the delivery phase, to take the £8M project to Planning and RIBA Stage 4. Today the project is moving towards tender andimplementation. Our team have been instrumental in devising strategies and defining the brief from the outset.
We lead a full team of consultants which extends beyond the core to archaeologists, hydrologists from Arup, exhibition-designers and theatre-consultants Fischer Dachs Associates. The hydrology of alluvial silts is fundamental to protecting the remains in what is to all intents and purposes a riverside environment. Liaising with Historic England - Heritage Consultants Purcell - was fundamental to the interventions.
We are currentlyreviewing and advancing the Revit model, submitting SMC, Section 73 planning while negotiating a License for the works. Throughout we worked closely with the Rose Theatre Trust with whom we enjoy a very good working relationship.