The Shed is a temporary venue for the National Theatre on London's South Bank. It will give the NT a third auditorium while the Cottesloe is closed for a year during the NT Future redevelopment.
Conceived by Haworth Tompkins and theatre consultants Charcoalblue, it was then designed and built in little more than a year, a collaborative process between the building designers, the National Theatre, and theatre-makers who will work in the space, in a way that more closely resembled a theatre show than a conventional construction project.
“This is a building that opens your heart before you get into the auditorium. It's a building that enables invention.“
Susannah Clapp, The Observer
The temporary nature permits a structure that can be seen less as a building than as an event or installation - a vibrant intervention on London's South Bank designed to entrance, and sometimes bewilder, passers-by for a period of twelve months.
Its simple form houses a 225-seat auditorium made of raw steel and plywood. The rough sawn timber cladding refers to the National Theatre's iconic board-marked concrete, and the modelling of the auditorium and its corner towers complement the bold geometries of the National Theatre itself. The Shed's brilliant red colour covering the entire mass of a form without doors or windows, announces its arrival boldly against the geometric concrete forms of the NT, giving it a startling and enigmatic presence.
Address: National Theatre, South Bank
Completion Date: March 2013
Construction Cost: £1.2m
Main Contractor: Rise Contracts Ltd
Theatre Consultant: Charcoalblue Ltd
Structural Engineer: Flint & Neill Ltd
Services Engineer: Ingleton Wood
Quantity Surveyor: Gardiner & Theobald
Access Consultant: All Clear Designs Ltd
Acoustics: Arup Acoustic