Ingleton Wood was appointed as M&E and sustainability consultants for this new build theatre in the grounds of Luckley House School, Wokingham. We worked closely with the school, Architects Van Heyningen and Haward and specialist theatre consultants Charcoalblue, to design the 179 seat auditorium, dance and drama studio, workshop and an ancillary block containing offices, classrooms and back of house spaces. The end result is a warm and intimate space that is loved and well used by both the school and the local community.
The scheme incorporated displacement ventilation, comfort cooling and full electrical and lighting services into an extremely tight space on a limited budget. The building has a highly flexible theatre space, designed for use by the school as well as external production companies. Air is supplied from beneath the seats via displacement terminals and extracted at high level to allow heat recovery.
The thermal performance of the building is excellent, resulting in low running costs for the client. Full air conditioning was deemed unnecessary, but a small amount of cooling capacity was provided to deal with very hot summertime temperatures. The theatre has a high level of technical specification with 120 channels of dimming, on two motorised bars front of house, a fixed grid above the stage, and at various points around the auditorium.
The theatre won the ‘Architects’ Choice Brick Award 2016’. The exterior is timber clad but with a brick block housing the theatre. Inside, the main volume of the auditorium is clad in brickwork, of a neutral blend and colour chosen to complement the timber cladding under different types of light. This brick cube is also expressed internally in the foyer space, and in the auditorium itself.
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