Magazine article The Spectator

Culture Notes: Haworth Tompkins and the London Library

Magazine article The Spectator

Culture Notes: Haworth Tompkins and the London Library

Article excerpt

Credit: Alan Powers

The Royal Court Theatre, the Young Vic Theatre and the London Library (above) are buildings of varied character and rich history. What they have in common is that each has been unpicked and reassembled by the architects Haworth Tompkins, recently announced as winners of the RIBA London Architect of the Year. This firm, founded in 1991, often gets chosen to make practical improvements to existing institutions and manages to make them work with a panache that allows the original building to retain its character. In an architectural world where severe contrast between old and new confronts the alternative of invisible and seamless extension, they have always managed to get somewhere in between.

An element of play-acting often comes into their work, not inappropriately for specialists in theatre refurbishment. …

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