A proposal for a 38-story residential tower on the site of a Shakespearean theater in London's historic Shoreditch district will be submitted to officials later this month. The development of homes and shops, called Stage Shoreditch, will sit beside recently uncovered remains of Shakespeare's Curtain Theatre, a venue that held the first performances of Romeo and Juliet and Henry V.
The theater was home to William Shakespeare’s company, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, before they settled at the Globe, according to London media. The theater's recent excavation includes the gallery walls and the playhouse yard. Archaeologists believe this may be one of the best-preserved examples of an Elizabethan theater in the U.K.
The skyscraper's design by Pringle Brandon Drew includes the remains of the Bard’s old theater in an underground exhibit, managed by the Museum of London.
"Having uncovered an internationally important archaeological discovery, we have the unique opportunity to create a centerpiece which is accessible to the public and provides facilities to showcase The Curtain Theatre’s cultural importance," John Drew, of Pringle Brandon Drew, told the Architects’ Journal (subscription required). "We will be working closely with the Museum of London Archaeology and English Heritage throughout the process to safeguard this amazing find."
Development plans include 400 residential units, two office buildings and 3,600 square meters (40,000 square feet) of shopping. A nineteenth century brick railway viaduct will run through the shopping area.