Architecture: Jonathan Tuckey Design
Area: 274 m²
Photography: Jim Stephenson
Jonathan Tuckey Design designed this theatre on the grounds of a school in England. The building is symbolic of how red Viroc can be used, a colour that is typical of the neighbouring Victorian buildings, which are still in evidence today.
The Theatre is not the lead actor in this story. It is part of the community, belonging to the school where children learn and grow up, and it is the pupils who bring the building to life, by inhabiting and using it. It was carefully constructed to transform what was previously a car park into a lively community facility, full of life.
Viroc, as a durable and original material, enabled the architect to create a design of interesting dimensions that stands out as being different. A variety of heights and scales were implemented, as suggested by the different dimensions of panels available and adaptable through simple cuts during the construction.
The warm tone of the red exudes life and joy, further accentuated by the fact that the Viroc panels can be machine worked to produce vivid geometries and textures on the façade. These geometries comprise of cuts and vertical and diagonal articulations, giving rise to 3D illusions. The surrounding trees and nature frame and highlight the building.
Inside, the choice was also to use Viroc panels (on the flooring, in black), as a material that consolidates the constructive sustainability and because of its durability. Natural materials were used and the passive ventilation was taken advantage of, angling the panels to allow the air to circulate inside. It is also pointed out that Viroc provides precious help for better acoustic and thermal behaviour, which are essential properties in a theatre. The frame of the venue is made from wood, the ideal option to support the Viroc panels, as the two materials respond in the same way, dilating and contracting depending on the temperature and moistness.
With a modern outline, the building draws inspiration from traditional architecture, as exemplified by the portico that announces and underlines the entrance. The structure is perfectly articulated with the red Viroc façade. The polished black Viroc flooring (chosen because of its appearance, resistance, durability and the ease with which it can be cut) are designed in a pattern inspired by Renaissance churches, like other features incorporated into this emblematic building, based on classical ecclesiastic architecture.
To sum up, it is a building that combines practical and functional utility, without neglecting the memory of the architecture of the past.