The Courtyard Theatre, Stratford Upon Avon

King Shaw Associates provided building services design for the Courtyard Theatre for the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford upon Avon. This 1045 seat temporary theatre was designed as a temporary home for five years whilst the Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres were under refurbishment.
Speed was of the essence with this project, which went from empty carpark to first performance in just eleven months. The building services systems had to be simple and efficient, dealing with a very dense occupancy without the benefit of enclosed balconies. A novel method of air conditioning the theatre was developed comprising of air permeable fabric ducts running at high level above the seats. These ducts provided comfort whilst their speed of installation and flexibility compensated for any building tolerances reducing the risk of any off-site manufacturing.
Now closed to the public the space is still used today as a rehearsal space and remains a well liked space for the players. Due to the popularity of the auditorium plans are underway to develop the building whilst retaining much of its original features.

Client: The Royal Shakespeare Company
Value: £6,000,000
Architect: Ian Ritchie Architects
Awards: RIBA National Award, RIBA Awards 2007