Traffic Inside


During daytime, through traffic in the Gagarin is easily manageable, especially since the bar will not be open between 7am and 6pm.There is a main entrance and reception at the west end of the Gagarin Square Southwark Street elevation. This is also the access to a lift for a disabled visitor to the 1st floor  Terrace (Gagarin Tea Room and Gagarin Gallery).  Most visitors to the Terrace will climb the wide, easy going steps. This entrance, flanked by Atlas figures, will be spacious and uncluttered, designed to allow free movement to and from the restaurant, the rehearsal rooms, the commercial floors, and the Art Academy.


The large capacity of the theatre as well as the fact that Southwark Street is a busy road means that the issue of evening visitor access requires special consideration, especially during pre-show dinners up until 8pm when performances will begin.The successful Menier Chocolate Factory seats a maximum of 200, and its status has provided experience with managing a theatre filled to capacity week after week.Employees, Art Academy students, and visitors to the rear commercial spaces and front Rehearsal Room will, after the reception, pass through into the lobby for lift access.After 5pm, the restaurant which is situated to the left of the entrance must be unaffected by the movement of bar customers. Tickets are collected from the theatre ticket office which faces both the restaurant and the corridor for the bar drinkers which leads to the stairs and lifts. They carry the thirsty patrons to the sub-basement WCs and the Gagarin Bar (level with the theatre).Thus, unlike at the Menier, entrance to the theatre bar will not be through the restaurant. The restaurant will be an uncluttered space, perhaps in appearance not unlike a ship’s dining room. The kitchen is at a level 600mm above the restaurant so waiters and waitresses will display like catwalk models down a ramp.


 The west of the Menier façade will continue to be illuminated as now, and lights set into the outdoor stairs will guide visitors to evening art performances on the Terrace and light refreshment at the Gagarin Tea Room.  The Public Terrace provides an open-air space with low-density seating to ensure free movement around the Terrace. It will evoke a sense of Continental boulevard life, without the noise of scooters and cars.