News 19.08.2016

Shakespeare's New Place re-opens in Stratford-upon-Avon

On Saturday, 20 August, the former residence of William Shakespeare for 19 years of his adult life, and where he died four hundred years ago, will re-open as a new heritage landmark attraction where visitors will be able to discover Shakespeare and his legacy.

To mark the 400th Anniversary of William Shakespeare's death, the re-imagination of Shakespeare's New Place - designed by architects Feilden Clegg Badley and engineers Expedition - provides visitors the opportunity to walk in Shakespeare's footsteps through a new threshold on the site of his gatehouse and trace the footprint of his family home in a contemporary landscape setting designed by Gillespies.

The restoration of the historic knot garden - which formed the centrepiece of Ernest Laws 1920 scheme for New Place - is just one part of the new landscapes that come together to create this new heritage landmark. A transitional courtyard - with views into the Knot Garden - welcomes visitors and provides a link to the Great Garden from the reinterpreted New Place.

Whilst there are overt references in the design to what was believed to be the layout of Shakespeare's New Place as well as how the spaces were used and the objects that might have been contained therein, there are also more subtle re-imaginings that will help enhance the 'guest' experience. Pleached hornbeams encircle bronze sculptures of Shakespeare's chair and desk, with a view back over the Golden Garden representing his life's work. Centre stage is his 'Mind's Eye', a monumental bronze tree, cast from a living tree.

Themes from Shakespeare's work and life are plentiful - plants, sculpture, text, trees and archaeology help to tell the story.

Dr Diana Owen, Chief Executive Officer of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, said:

"Working with an outstanding community of artists, designers and craftspeople we have created together an extraordinary place of inspiration for everyone to enjoy. The re-opening of Shakespeare's New Place means we can now tell the complete story of Shakespeare's life from boyhood to father, husband, businessman and playwright and of his enduring ability to inspire artists today."

Images copyright of Gillespies | Jason Gairn

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Shakespeare's New Place