Rebuilding a cultural icon: Rab Bennetts' new Hampstead Theatre, London.
Totally new theatres don't happen very often. The last time London got one, it was 1975 and it was called the National Theatre. But on the radical fringe, with its low-budget tradition of taking over old buildings and making do, the wait has been even longer. Which makes the new Hampstead Theatre by architect Rab Bennetts an interesting proposition. It is fringe through and through, it has a distinguished tradition, but it is getting big. How can you simultaneously put on weight and stay lean and mean?