Royal Shakespeare Company Costume Workshops


A multi-million pound project to restore and redevelop the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Costume Workshop – home to the theatre’s award-winning costume-makers since the 1950’s

This challenging project which has conserved the 19th century Grade II listed buildings, has created updated facilities and enabled the Costume Workshop to open for the first time to visitors through site tours.

  • Client:

    Royal Shakespeare Company

  • Architect:


  • Programme:

    69 weeks

The redevelopment has created 1,644 sq. m of modern workshop accommodation, mainly over two storeys, creating enhanced facilities for what is the largest in-house costume-making department of any British theatre with an extensive range of facilities. It is one of the few theatres to have an in-house armoury where armour and weapons are made as well as workshops where experts craftspeople make everything from hats, corsets and leatherwork to jewellery and masks.

Designed by architects practice Aedas, the redevelopment also included the creation of a new entrance to the RSC offices and Costume Workshop using the 1887 former scene dock doors which were built for the original Shakespeare Memorial Theatre.

The transformed workshops feature extended work-space for the costume team; an improved stock room; larger premises for the millinery, jewellery and dyeing and print workshops; new office space; a larger fitting room; a new lift and a new plant room in the roof space. The project has also created a versatile new space within the workshop area.




“Rather like a theatrical production, creating buildings to support the performing arts is a genuine team effort. Stepnell understood this from the very start and it was the cornerstone of their approach. The team worked collaboratively and proactively throughout the construction process as we tackled the challenges of working in and around important historic buildings. For us, they did a great job amidst the most extraordinary challenging of times – with imagination, pragmatism and good grace.”

Julian Middleton, Executive Director, Aedas Arts Team