Marlowe Theatre, The Friars, Canterbury

A plot twist Marlowe would be proud of_

Marlowe Theatre, The Friars, Canterbury

Main Contractor

ISG Jackson Ltd


Keith Williams Architects

Products Used

TerraPave® Flags (1,200m²)

The Challenge

ISG Jackson were awarded the £25.6M contract to construct a new theatre designed by award winning KWA. The building and surrounding (hard) landscaping are of a contemporary striking design involving the use of extremely high quality materials.

Due to the part public and private funding of the project, tight controls were necessary on the budget. It was identified that savings could be made within some elements of the hard landscaping package; KWA approached AG (Acheson + Glover) to provide a value engineered alternative to the flame finished natural granite stone specified for all of the hard landscaping areas.

The Solution

AG supplied many different samples and undertook trials of new colours mixes to allow KWA and client design team to select the combination that best met their design concept.

After extensive consultation with KWA, AG developed a brand new TerraPave® product specifically for this project that would satisfy the client’s requirements. TerraPave® Natural Aggregate Flags in a Florento (Marlowe Special) textured finish were chosen as a high quality cost effective alternative to natural flame finished dark granite.

TerraPave® flags are hydraulically pressed concrete flags manufactured with a base course of conventional durable concrete and a thick surface layer of reconstituted granite and other natural aggregates. Their exceptional appearance is achieved by using state-of-the-art manufacturing and finishing equipment with only the natural aggregates themselves providing the surface colour and not concrete dyes.

“AG were extremely helpful during all stages of the project providing assistance, samples and technical guidance. We greatly appreciated the ‘bespoke’ service they provided by producing a new colour product to help us satisfy the client’s requirements. The paving products supplied were an excellent cost effective alternative to the flame finished natural dark granite yet still provided a high quality appearance and feel. We would certainly look to specify AG products on future schemes.”

Matt Green | Keith Williams Architects

Professional photography by Hélène Binet (

"The Marlowe is that very rare thing – a major new contemporary theatre building within a magnificent historical cathedral city. Its architecture is clearly contemporary yet it has been conceived to fit comfortably within its historic surroundings and I am confident that it will have a transformative effect on art and culture in the South East and beyond."
Keith Williams | Keith Williams Architects

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