Inspired by the arts and crafts movement
Bedales School theatre has a capacity of 300, including seating on a 1st floor balcony area which gives a true feeling of an auditorium environment. The foyer is a traditional two storey timber framed structure, inspired heavily by the arts and crafts movement. The main auditorium mixes traditional building techniques with steel plates, ties and wedges.
Steel and timber working together
To ensure the structural integrity of the frame, a series of industry-leading steel and timber combinations were used, including cross-brace steel rods. Internally, the sandblasted oak frame exposes the timber grain, contrasted with the differing textures of European soft woods. The use of various woods combined with the breathtaking height of the roof lantern make for a dramatic atmosphere inside.
Externally, the theatre has been roofed with standing-seam zinc sheeting, and the exterior clad in timber. The whole building is designed around a sophisticated, environmentally friendly air treatment system, which detects carbon dioxide levels in order to open up air vents. Pupils were involved as much as possible in the construction of the frame, with about 35 learning some carpentry skills, and nearly everyone made at least one oak peg.