Hertford Theatre brick selection in keeping with local area

Cllr Eric Buckmaster holding a brick outside the site of Hertford Theatre
The growth and legacy development of Hertford Theatre entered its main phase of construction earlier this month and work has been ongoing behind the scenes to ensure the new facades are in keeping and sympathetic to the local area.

Bennetts Associates, the architects, have not only created a modern design of five distinctive blocks wrapped around the iconic ‘malthouse fly tower’ - but taken time to get to know and understand the local history and landscape, to ensure the facades are in keeping with Hertford’s past.  

Local brickwork supplier HG Matthews has sourced a clay that’s prominent in other buildings in the area.  The pattern will not be uniform, has variations and incorporates a feathering and protruding brick.

A glazed brick will also be used around the base of the new facades, like other buildings in town that have a ceramic tile effect.

Eric Buckmaster, Executive Member for Wellbeing at East Herts Council recently visited site and saw first-hand the brick selections being taken forward, he said:

“Hertford Theatre is an iconic building in the heart of a vibrant town, and it is vitally important that the growth and legacy development, to transform it into a thriving hub for arts and culture, is delivered so that the building not only has a modern and contemporary feel but is also sympathetic to the history of its surroundings.   

“These brickwork selections are so important to ensure the new building blends into its surroundings, combining the old with the new, and I look forward to seeing this rise up from the ground as we move through the main construction phase.”

Robyn Davis, an architect at Bennetts Associates said: “We have selected a locally made brick for the dynamic theatre volumes which wrap around the retained auditorium. By doing so, not only do we support the local economy, but minimised travel distances from where the clay is sourced and fired. The brick itself is not uniform and will have some colour variations across the facade. We're also particularly excited to see how the facades become animated by a play of shadow and reflection created by a protruding brickwork pattern and portions of glazed brick.”

Jim Matthews, a partner at HG Matthews said: “HG Matthews are extremely proud to have been selected as the brick manufacturer for this project.  We are delighted that such refreshing consideration has been given to the history and vernacular of Hertford.  

“As the last remaining brick maker in the area, we still use the same clay beds and traditional techniques that have been used for centuries, and this will ensure a harmonious blending with the surrounding architecture.  We wish everybody involved a bright and successful future.”