Architecture Update: Theatre terrace trouble

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The Independent Culture
THE National Theatre's long-awaited proposals to make its Thamesside concrete building 'more user friendly' will be unveiled tomorrow by Richard Eyre, the theatre's director. The NT says the public finds it puzzling that the building has two main entrances. The Architects Stanton Williams, charged with 'improving' the building, are expected to remove the theatre's lower terrace (pictured below), cutting off access to the mezzanine level from Waterloo Bridge, where the second entrance is situated. Sir Denys Lasdun, who designed the NT, says demolition of the terrace would be 'like removing the lower pediment from St Paul's . . . The building is like a puzzle, it can't work if bits are missing.' Meanwhile, the Department of National Heritage is expected to announce this week whether it has accepted English Heritage's recommendation that the building be listed.

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