The loving recreation of the Shakespeare Globe Theatre in the mid-1990s should have been a hard act to follow but that doesn’t seem to have been the case for the team responsible for the architectural gem that is the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.

Named in honour of the American actor and director who made England his home in the 1950s, and whose lifetime ambition it was to see the recreation of the Globe Theatre, the Playhouse is a timber-rich ‘Jacobean’ performance space which seats 340 people and relies entirely on candlelight for illumination.

The £7.5m project is based on drawings held by Worcester College, Oxford, thought to be the work of renaissance architects Inigo Jones or John Webb, which are believed to be the earliest surviving examples of what a Jacobean indoor theatre may have looked like.

The design was delivered by architect Allies & Morrison and historic timber frame specialist McCurdy & Co and includes two tiers of balcony seating and a pit with a capacity of 60 in front of a raised stage.

Peter McCurdy also created the Globe Theatre and described the much smaller Playhouse as having a different look. "The feel comes very much from the detail and craftsmanship of the timber interior," he said.

The interior is constructed almost entirely from wood, much of it left natural and untreated, revealing some of the hand tooling marks. Other surfaces have been painted and details highlighted with gilding.

The main structure is oak timber frame, constructed in a series of faceted bays, similar to the Globe Theatre. This structural oak is unseasoned, while elements such as handrails and brackets are made with airdried oak.

The quality of oak and the type of conversion was selected according to historical precedent, said McCurdy & Co.

For example, the beams and columns are boxed heart conversion that now displays the checks that typically occur as the green oak dries. The arcade brackets, on the other hand, are from straight-grained slab sawn air-dried oak.

The jointing of the structural frame is largely pegged mortise and tenon and the finishes have been hand planed with chamfers and stops applied where appropriate.

The English oak is from Grown in Britain-labelled sources, said McCurdy and all the softwood used is FSC or PEFC certified.