The basement theatre will be an uncluttered versatile space, free of a forest of supporting columns that would restrict views as in many converted spaces.

This also enables the sets, orchestra and seating to be purpose-designed for each new show to make the most of the total space. Whether it be the a Sondheim musical or a Mike Leigh comedy, the Gagarin Theatre will be adaptable to suit show directors’ designs.

The civil engineers have designed the ceiling of the theatre (the ground floor of the restaurant) to be suspended, like the nearby Millennium Bridge, by a series of steel structures above the first floor level. The floor of the ground floor restaurant, and the basement theatre’s ceiling will thus be a suspended surface, founded on four immense corner posts within the 30m deep perimeter columns surrounding the site.