Project
Shakespeare’s New Place

Location
Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom

Client
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Completed
2016

Joint Artistic Director and Co-Designer
Timothy O’Brien RDI

Joint Artistic Director and Co-Designer
Chris Wise RDI

The Strong Box artist
Christopher Lloyd

Terrestrial Globe & Silver Ship artist
Ursae (Ben Ryan & Rupert Todd)

Oak Table artist
John Bevan

Golden Garden & Armillary Sphere artist
Souvenir Scenery Builders and Specialist Property Makers, under the direction of Simon Kenny

Site wide pavement ‘darts”, Shakespeare’s desk & chair, Shadowed globe, & Bronze Blackthorn tree artist
Morris Singer Metal Foundry

Photographer
James Newton

Awards

Award of Merit, IES Awards, 2018
Type
Museums and Exhibitions

Discipline
Architecture + Environment




Shakespeare’s New Place is a commemorative garden in Stratford-Upon-Avon, built on the site of the house he lived in from 1597 until his death in 1616.

We were invited by garden designers Timothy O’Brien and Chris Wise to create an atmospheric nighttime experience within their contemporary landscape. Our scheme makes use of the subtle interplay of light and shadow, offering a new perspective on the garden and its series of commissioned artworks, while extending its usability.

As is fitting for a site commemorating one of the greatest storytellers of all time, we drew inspiration from theatrical techniques. Collaborating directly with their creators, we emphasised the sculptural quality of each artefact by means of dramatic contrast with the surrounding ‘stage’ - the hard landscape. This theatrical approach creates a strong sense of duality between the day and nighttime character of the garden - referencing the blurred distinction between dreams and reality that has often been a theme in Shakespeare’s plays.

In illuminating the soft landscape we aimed to evoke a special sense of enclosure, as well as a visual reminder of the creative informal garden setting. The scheme is predominantly realised at low level, with the exception of selected directional lighting details.

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