B3 Designers breathe new life to Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

Award-winning design studio, B3 Designers, have redesigned the Summer Cafe, main bar and Interval Cafe at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, which is reopening May 15th, 2015.

Marking the beginning of the theatre's 17-week season, the award-winning open-air theatre dates back to the early 1930s where it provided a cultural hub for London. Notorious icons including Ralph Fiennes and Dame Eileen Atkins made their professional debuts here, further cementing this artistic landmark for London.


Regent's Park Open Air Theatre main bar area.

B3 Designers' brief was to assess and address the function and impact of this existing outdoor theatre space, reworking the existing bar and café to enhance the theatre experience for guests.


Main bar area displaying food and produce.

Working with a landmark over 80 years old provides a challenge for any designer. However B3 Designers have ensured the fluidity of the space is maintained, ensuring the fluidity of the Regent Theatre's casual environment but also not detracting from its heritage. As the oldest, professional, permanent outdoor theatre in Britain, B3 have implemented raw and organic materials with down-to-earth furniture to preserve the building's authenticity.


Main bar area.

Key design features highlight the hospitality area, providing warmth and a natural experience for guests. Some of these features include impactful and atmospheric lighting, polished concrete bar tops and reclaimed scaffold board cladding juxtaposed against reclaimed timber with expanded metal and mild steel detailing. In the Summer Cafe, menus now hang off rails for improved visibility with fresh produce on display. In the main bar ledge seating surrounds the area with bucket hook detail to keep drinks cool, while wine is displayed in mild steel and mesh shelves on the back wall behind the bar. In the Interval Cafe additional theatrical lighting, promotion boards and pendant lighting has been used embody the impressive atmosphere.


Main bar area.

'Working on a project like the Regents Open Air Theatre presented a rare opportunity to design a F&B space in an important cultural landmark, within such a beautiful natural setting. Its exciting to think about the vast number of visitors who will experience the F&B offers while attending the productions this Summer.' says Mark Bithrey, Design Director at B3 Designers.

The Regent's Park Open Air Theatre's steeply raked auditorium is one of the largest in London with 1,256 seats, yet those who attend say it is one of the most intimate. Over 140,000 people attend productions between May and September. This year will be showing J.M. Barrie's Peter (recommended ages 9+), The Seagull, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and William Golding's Lord of the Flies.


Main image: Regent's Park Open Air Theatre main bar area after the redesign.

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