New London Globe
Theater Structure

New London Globe Theater

Picture of the New Globe Theater

The New Globe Theater Reconstruction - The Structure, Design, Layout and Dimensions

The New Globe Theatre reconstruction in London, England

The Old Globe Theatre was demolished in 1644. It took the vision and drive of Sam Wanamaker to initiate the development and reconstruction of a New Globe Theater. To create a replica a reconstruction, in London, of the old Shakespearean Theatre. There were two Globe Theatres in the London of the Elizabethans and Jacobeans. The first was built in 1599. This first Globe Theatre was burnt down in 1613 when a canon was fired during a performance of Henry VIII. A second Globe Theatre was built in 1614 which was rebuilt on the original foundations of the first theatre. The roof on the second theater was tiled, not thatched! This theatre was demolished by the Puritans in 1644. So the New theatre in  London is in fact the third construction to be built in the same area of London - but 350 years later! Scholars and architects looked at the information available regarding the building and the structure of the old theatre and plans to build a replica, a reconstruction, of the old theatre were drawn. The structure, design, layout and dimensions of the new Globe theatre follow.

For comprehensive facts and information visit the Globe Theatre Website

The Structure, Design, Layout and Dimensions of the New Globe Theater in London, England
 

             Picture of the new stage reconstruction

The Structure and Design of the New Globe Theatre

New Globe Theatre Design Structure - Open arena in the style of an amphitheatre
Location of the New Theater In Southwark, beside the River Thames, opposite St. Paul's Cathedral. Approximately 200 yards from the site of the original Globe theatres
Size of Site Southwark council provided a 1.2 acre site for the project 
Other buildings on site A museum, restaurant, 300 seat lecture theatre and a Gift Shop
Size of New Theatre Design and Dimensions - 99 feet in diameter
Shape of New Theater Design and Structure - 20 sided circular-shaped building
Architects - Design Pentagram - design based on drawing on maps of London showing the first and second Globe by Norden and Hollar
Existing buildings from the period of the old Globe theatres The 2 storey octagonal market at Wymondham in Norfolk, England and the Queen's House in the Tower of London
Builders McCurdy and Co., Berkshire, England
New Globe Building materials Traditional building materials were used for the structure such as timber, nails, stone (flint), plaster and thatched roof. Compromises made to comply with modern building codes and regulations
Structure - The Thatched roof Design - The thatched roof in the structure is made in traditional style with Norfolk reeds but coated with a special fire-protective liquid. It is the first thatched roof building that has been allowed in London since the Great Fire in 1666
Structure - Outer skin of the New Theatre The outer skin of the structure is made of plaster made of sand, lime and goat hair (goat hair acts as a binding agent)
Timber All timbers are made of oak
Excavation works for the New Theater Excavation of the site begins 1987 The "diaphragm" wall, on the side of Theatre closest to the Thames, is constructed to keep the water out.
Foundations of the New Theatre Design and Structure - Construction work begins on the foundations of the Globe complex and on the Piazza in 1991 . Design and Dimensions - Foundations are 6 metres deep
Construction work In 1993 Construction work begins on Theatre itself
Building duration of Theatre itself 6 Years
Inauguration of the New Theater June 12th - Her Majesty the Queen, accompanied by HRH Prince Philip, inaugurates the New Theatre
Overall design and structure of the New Theatre The open air arena, is called the ' pit ' or the ' yard ', has a raised stage at one end and is surrounded by three tiers of roofed galleries with balconies overlooking the back of the stage. The stage projects halfway into the ' pit '
Audience Capacity Design and Structure - The New Theatre can house up to 1600 people. 700 standing ' groundlings ' in the ' yard ' or the ' pit ' and 900 seated in the galleries
Structure - The Entrance to Theater Design - Two External staircases in the structure to access the upper galleries. Four main entrances for the ' Yard ' and the Lower Gallery
Structure - Access to the Balconies & Galleries Design - Two sets of external stairs in the structure , either side if Theater.
The interior design of Theatre Interior Design based on the structure of the Old Globe Theatre (see picture of the new Globe stage below clearly showing the ' Herculean ' pillars, the ' Heavens ' & the stage wall called the ' Frons Scenae '
Theatre Lighting Natural lighting only artificial lighting mirrors the effects  of sunlight
Heating / Air Conditioning Like the old Globe as the design and structure is an open air amphitheatre there is no heating or air conditioning.
Structure - Stage dimensions Design - Stage dimensions in the structure are 44 foot wide 25 foot deep
The height of the stage A raised stage in the structure - 5 feet and supported by large pillars
The floor of the Stage Design and Structure - Made of wood and like the old Globe have trap doors enabling special effects
The rear of the Stage A roofed house-like structure supported with the help of two large columns (pillars)
The ' Herculean ' columns or pillars The ' Herculean ' oak pillars are painted to look like marble with golden leaves
The ' Heavens ' - a roof area The pillars supported a roof called the 'Heavens'. The Heavens are painted with the sun, moon and the zodiac
The ' Heavens ' The ' Heavens ' serve to create an area hidden from the audience.  A selection of ropes & rigging allow for special effects
The stage wall called the ' Frons Scenae ' taken from Latin Design and Structure - Behind the pillars is the stage wall called the ' Frons Scenae ' (taken from the name given by Imperial Rome to the stage walls of their amphitheatres). A doorway to the left and right in the structure and a curtained central doorway from which the actors make their entrances. Above the door area is a highly decorative screen 
Statues, or relief's above the stage Represent Comedy and Tragedy
The ' Tiring House ' The stage wall contains two side doors and a central door which leads to a small structure, back stage, called the ' Tiring House '. The actors use this area to change their attire
The ' yard ' - Dimensions Dimensions - The stage projects halfway into the ' yard ' which is 80 feet in diameter.
Seats in the galleries - Three levels

 

Design and Structure - The seats in each of the three levels of galleries are tiered with three rows of seats in the structure , increasing in size towards the back, following the shape of the building. The galleries are covered affording shelter from the elements.

New Globe Theater modelled on the original - Pictures, stage, replica, model theatre

New Globe Theater Timeline - Time line of the replica of  William Shakespeare theatre and Bear Garden Museum, Southwark

Visiting the New Globe Theater - London theatre vacation guide with Elizabethan, Shakespearean map

The New Globe Theater Reconstruction
The Structure, Design, Layout and Dimensions

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