Ian Arnott, RSA RIBA FRIAS is an architect, retired from the practice of Campbell and Arnott. He is an Academician of the Royal Scottish Academy of Art and Architecture and a winner of their Gold Medal for Architecture. After visiting the Marche, he was given a Sir William Gillies Award to research more deeply into the historic theatre tradition of that region of Italy.
In his career he has, at home and abroad, designed residential, commercial, medical and leisure buildings - including performance spaces - and has received awards from the Royal Institute of British Architects, The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, The Civic Trust and The Saltire Society. The performance which brought down the curtain on his own architectural career was the winning of the competition to design a building to fill Edinburgh’s notorious “hole in the ground” in Castle Terrace, which had lain empty for 25 years. The award-winning £28m Saltire Court, completed in 1991, restored the street pattern around the site and formed a new Square fronting the Usher Hall. In addition to high-spec offices it contained a restaurant and bistros together with the new Traverse Theatre.
In his book he examines the origins of The Marche’s theatre boom and analyses the historic, social and architectural significance of this remarkable theatre heritage from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century, and examines the factors which led to such a boom in theatre building in a relatively isolated area of Italy.