Foster Wilson Size won a competitive selection process in 2011 with proposals for a new theatre extension to Sutherland House, a 19thC listed house and stable block which is home to the University’s Department of Drama & Theatre.
The extension, which replaced a dilapidated studio theatre, provides a flexible galleried auditorium, with a seating capacity of 175, two rehearsal studios, a workshop and dressing rooms. The dark brick exterior, with its apsidal end, sits discreetly amid mature trees on the heavily wooded site and is connected to the house by a single storey glazed link.
The theatre, with its retractable seating, functions as a flat-floored teaching and rehearsal space during the day but can transform quickly and easily into a performance space by deploying the seating. The encircling facetted galleries provide architectural character and give actors the sense they are performing in a theatre, not a studio.