A theatre enhances the campus of a British primary school

Red cladding and a tall wooden portico: inserted in the Horris Hill School complex, the project by Jonathan Tuckey Design defines a cultural meeting place for students.

Jonathan Tuckey Design inserts a theatre at the Horris Hill School campus in Newbury, England, reserved for children between 4 and 13 years of age. David Brownlow Theatre enhances the complex by transforming an old car park into a cultural meeting place that becomes part of the educational programme.

The theatre has been installed on the west side of the campus, where a 1970s cabin was located. The project includes three spaces used to gather students and communities and animate the new structure: a 160-seat auditorium, a meeting place around the portico at the entrance – a tall wooden structure also used as billboard to announce theatre productions – and an outdoor amphitheatre, extension of the stage towards the woods.

Sustainable cross-laminated timber (CLT) was chosen for the construction of the theatre and left visible inside, while panels of Viroc, a material made of wood and cement particles, with a red hue reminiscent of local Victorian buildings, were used for the cladding. Inside, a dark blue corrugated ceiling panel brings sound from the stage to the auditorium.

David Brownlow Theatre
Newtown, Newbury, Berkshire, UK
Jonathan Tuckey Desig
Design team:
Jonathan Tuckey, Peter Youthed, Rob Leechmere, James Moore, Molly Wheeler, Matthew Farrer, Belen Salgado, Rohullah Kazemi, Waheed Kazemi
Project architects:
James Moore and Rob Leechmere
Structural engineers:
Webb Yates Engineers
Skelly and Couch Ltd
Theatre consultant:
Marstan BDB LLP
Vale Southern Construction Ltd
Peak Carpentry
Competition organiser:
RedBook Agency
Construction value:
£ 1.,42,790
Project area (theatre, amphitheatre, colonnade, portico):
528 sqm
Theatre internal area:
320 sqm

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