10.10.2013 Peter Popp

"All the world's a stage": Temporärer Theatersaal von Haworth Tompkins

The National Theatre in London, completed in 1976, is an outstanding example of brutalism in architecture. Comprising three auditoriums – the Lyttelton, the Olivier and the Cottesloe – the complex is now to undergo an approximately £70-million programme of modernization, while still maintaining stage operations. The conversion of the 300-seat Cottesloe marks the beginning.
Architect: Haworth Tompkins, London
Location: South Bank, GB–SE1 9PX London

Photograph: Philip Vile

Alongside the existing complex, an alternative theatre has been docked for 12 months. The simple steel structure is clad externally with red-stained timber boarding and was erected within two weeks. A conspicuous feature of this building are the four ventilation stacks, the height of which ensures an optimum functioning of the natural air extract. The stacks, the coloration and the horizontal facade boarding all enter into a dialogue with the existing complex.

The simple steel construction was mounted within two weeks.

Assembly of the centre stage in the temporary theatre

Setup of the ventilation towers

Finished steel construction

Ground floor plan: (1) Main entrance, (2) Foyer Lyttelton Theatre (current), (3) Foyer, Café, (4) Bar, (5) Artists' dressing room, (6) Lobby theatre, (7) Theatre, (8) Café (current), (9) Forecourt, (10) Lighting and sound equipment

View from National Theatre to »The Shed« and Waterloo Bridge

The steel columns of the construction are based on the concrete columns of the parking garage below.

Timber substructre for the red varnished roofing

Short before works were finished

Sketch of the air inlet opening at the pedestal body

Photograph: Philip Vile

An extended project report can be found in DETAIL 2013/10 »Temporary Structures«.
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