Your browser does not support SVG

Reed Watts

Reed Watts Architects, London

Open Air Theatre Auditorium

This project, completed in 2023, extends the auditorium at the Open Air Theatre and forms part of a wider masterplan of work to improve facilities on the site.

Located in the centre of Regent’s Park, the theatre is characterised by its woodland setting which surrounds the large auditorium, creating a unique experience for Theatre goers who are immersed within the landscape.  Over the years the ambition of the productions has grown, becoming increasingly complex and requiring enhanced levels of technical support and flexibility.

The new structure to the rear of the auditorium addresses this need, and has been carefully grafted on to the existing concrete frame (constructed in the 1970’s to the designs of Bill Howell of Howell, Killick, Partridge and Amis), without the need for additional foundations or reinforcement. It creates two levels of technical galleries and a new control room, while at the same time freeing space for 60 new seats and increasing the theatre’s capacity to over 1300 people.

Constructed from lightweight steelwork components and clad in green stained larch, the elegant new structure adopts the language already established on the tree lined site, blending into the landscape and acting as a backdrop to the work on stage.

Within the control room, dedicated spaces have been provided for the sound and lighting control desks as well as the Deputy Stage Manager. At the highest level a continuous gantry replaces the individual lighting towers to afford flexibility for lighting from anywhere along its length.

Additional back of house works also includes the creation of a new lighting office, material store and improvements to the workshop facilities.

The auditorium works is the third of our projects at the theatre. Other work has included new rehearsal studios, staff amenities and kitchen, a new dry store, a cover to the scenery dock and new landscape connections to the bar area.

Photos: Fred Howarth
3d model images: Bubear and Jones

© 2024 Reed Watts. All Rights Reserved.