Traditional and beloved all around the world! Oxford seats are the most popular seating-style for modern day theatres because they can be easily customised to fit any venue aesthetic. These high-end chairs are the standard of #theatrelife luxury.
Take a look at our Favourite installations of the popular Oxford Range.
1. Hudson Theatre, New York City USA
When ATG announced the renovation of New York’s Landmark 112-year-old Hudson Theatre, they had no idea of the architectural features and history they would uncover along the way.
The initial design ideas for the Hudson renovation were directly inspired by the history, just not in the way anyone intended. As the renovation moved along, and layers of plasterboard, studwork, tiles and paint from the last renovation in the 1970s were removed, many of the original features from 1903 were exposed.
Looking at all these unique details, the client then asked their design team: Could any of these historical characteristics be maintained and incorporated into the new Hudson Theatre?
Everyone involved were intrigued by the uncovered ceiling structure, which comprised of a series of concentric plaster hexagons. They had an idea to carry this geometrical design through even to the seating and carpet if possible.
Enter Kirwin & Simpson, bespoke theatre seat manufacturers. We designed a custom cast-iron end for each seat row incorporating the hexagon shape.
We even produced specially custom row letters and number cut-outs that reflect the hexagonal theme.
Additional modern features were added to make sure the seats hold up over time. Such as, the narrow seat envelope and Advanced ProBax Comfort Technology. These two features allowed an extra row of seats to be added to the original layout with no compromise to leg room or comfort. We were also able to include a high proportion of 23″ centre chairs, which are some of the widest chairs on Broadway now.
“K&S were able to design and make from scratch end-of-row castings to carry that hexagonal motif. In addition, being bespoke we were able to go for a bold and exciting fabric choice for the seats. In pre-opening tours it’s the chairs and colour schemes that have the biggest WOW! factor”.
Hudson Theatre, NYC
2. The Lyceum Theatre, London UK
Originally opened in 1834, Lyceum is one of London’s oldest theatrical venues.
In 2014, Ambassador Theatre Group and long-term leaseholder, Disney, endeavoured to upgrade the seating of the The Grade II-listed building. Being a historic building meant new seats needed to be in-line with English Heritage while also conforming to modern seating requirements.
Kirwin & Simpson were contracted to design, manufacture and install 2,100 new seats on a strict rolling-programme. There were various installation phases throughout the project. The most ambitious of which needed 648 chairs to be removed and installed in a 24-hour turnaround.
Although the project was quick, we were still able to create a custom seat for ATG that reflects the Theatre’s history.
Features that truly made the Lyceum chair unique include: custom cast-end standard inspired by from the original plaster work and stained-glass windows in the foyer, framed backs with in-built menu holders for programmes and Bar menus, and every seat was fitted with Advanced ProBax Comfort Technology.
We also produced a special Grand Circle Chair variant to fit in with the construction of the Circle Level, which included extra-tall backs to meet seating regulations.
One special consideration for Disney was the need for an extra-wide aisle to allow the Animal Parade in the Lion King Show to proceed. Working with the venue and utilising the narrow seat envelope of the K&S seating range, new layouts were agreed without any loss of seating capacity.
Getting the seats you want in the layout you need at even in the most historic venues?
3. The Princess Theatre, Melbourne AUS
When the Marriner Group, proprietors and custodians of Melbourne’s prized heritage theatres wanted to upgrade their flagship, Princess Theatre, they scoured the globe for the right seating supplier.
Kirwin & Simpson were lucky enough to be brought on to design, supply and install 1,560 new seats. The seats coincided with the opening of a major show at the venue which originally opened in 1854. Marriner Management wanted something “very special and different” from what was locally available and spent weeks working with K&S on the design.
The cast-end design was replicated from plasterwork motifs in the Main Foyer. The narrow seat envelope, a feature of all K&S seating, proved a bonus as the stringent local fire regulations on row access were met without the need for any reduction in audience capacity. Something every other manufacturer had struggled to achieve when pitching for the project.
The Circle seating was particularly challenging – replacing existing fold-up seating that left many patrons feeling like they would fall down the steps with fixed seats. When a problem arose that would potentially need re-stepping, Kirwin & Simpson were successfully able to design seats that resolved all issues without re-stepping, saving significant costs for the owners.
“Our ‘new’ Theatre seating is a joy to behold. We’re all thrilled and relieved that the end result is everything we imagined it might be: The sympathetic bespoke heritage design, modern ergonomics and comfort, and the surprisingly extra leg room in the stalls – I’m still not entirely sure where it all came from – all in all a brilliant outcome. Sincere thanks to all the K & S team who made it possible.”