Burlington’s popular pale green Elterwater Stone plays a functional yet decorative role at London’s Hampstead Theatre where it has been used for both flooring and as vanity tops throughout the building’s six washroom areas. Replacing the existing theatre at Swiss Cottage, the new lottery-funded building is the first freestanding theatre to be built in London since the National Theatre in 1975, and the first to be built specifically for the purpose of producing contemporary plays.

Specified by leading London-based architects, Bennetts Associates, the stone vanity tops feature a honed finish for a smooth even effect, and are supported by a purpose-built powder-coated steel frame that houses the under-counter sink, senor tap mechanism, soap dispenser and towel-waste bin. The vanity tops provide the perfect contrast to the washroom’s maple veneered cubicles and white painted walls and ceilings. Stainless steel fittings complete the contemporary minimalist design.

Approximately 107m2 of the same honed Elterwater stone has been used as flooring and to create 12mm skirtings throughout the washroom areas.

Comments Simon Erridge from Bennetts Associates: “We first specified Burlington for the Royal College of Pathologists in 1992 and, over 15 years later, the stone remains in excellent condition.”

“As well as its durability and ease of maintenance, Burlington stone was chosen for its richness of colour, natural variation of shade and its ability to complement other materials. As a flooring material, it is more than appropriate to the washroom environment and it provides the perfect contrast to the dark polished concrete floors of the theatre’s foyer area and bar.”

Although intended to replace the existing theatre with a facility of similar size, its range of accommodation reflects a far more ambitious, longer-term vision. Whereas the previous auditorium had 175 seats, the new auditorium has a minimum of 150 and a maximum of 325 seats with a range of options for stage and seating configurations. The new building also boasts a workshop, dedicated rehearsal room and an education room that doubles as a stand-alone studio theatre. Dressing rooms, wardrobe and general offices are also extremely spacious and a large underground plantroom incorporates the most of the building’s mechanical services.

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