EP013 (Full Episode): The G.W.A. Performing Arts Centre at Wellington College

The High Point podcast - Atelier Crescendo's podcast

06-11-2023 • 1 hr 9 mins

In episode 13, we speak with Alberto Favaro of Studio Seilern Architects about the design and construction process of the G.W.A. Performing Arts Centre at Wellington College, London.

Inspired by Grecian amphitheatres and surrounded by forest, this circular structure clad in charred-timber, houses a 2,580 square metre auditorium with two-tier seating for over 900 persons, and equipped with the highest acoustic, audio-visual and stage lighting specification at its core.

We discuss:

  • How Studio Seilern won the contract
  • The design approach and challenges of building a theatre in a forest
  • The forest’s influence on the theatre aesthetics
  • Sustainability aspirations of the project
  • How the singular purpose of the theatre affected the design process
  • Putting a helicopter on stage
  • How to control acoustics in a circular theatre


00:00:00 - Introduction

00:02:10 - How it started

00:10:42 - What was the budget?

00:15:20 - Why a single purpose theatre?

00:18:02 - Design Structure

00:19:42 - Challenges

00:20:54 - Acoustics

00:34:49 - Seats

00:35:43 - Sustainability Aspirations

00:37:26 - What is the Theatre Made For?

00:41:44 -Helicopter

00:43:20 - Building Structure

00:53:00 - Team

00:57:18 - Landscape

01:00:51 - Design and Construction Timeline

01:03:06 - Final Questions


Find out more about the venue on the Wellington College website and visit Studio Seilern Architects website here.

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