witherford watson mann builds a theater inside a 17th century stable block in the UK
 

witherford watson mann builds a theater inside a 17th century stable block in the UK

located in the english county of leicestershire, ‘nevill holt opera’, designed by witherford watson mann architects, has been shortlisted for the 2019 RIBA stirling prize – the award for the UK‘s best new building. the 400-seat theater has been delicately inserted within a 17th century stable block on a grade I listed estate. using a rich material palette for both the acoustics and to complement the existing structure, the intervention provides a world-class space for opera.

witherford watson mann builds a theater inside a 17th century stable block in the UK designboom 

the nevill holt opera hidden inside the stone walls of the 17th century stable block

image courtesy of witherford watson mann

 

 

considering the historic setting, the theater is designed by the architects with a sensitive touch and to be invisible from the outside. at first hidden from view behind the original stone walls, the contemporary insertion in the former courtyard is only revealed upon entering. during the day, the theater welcomes guests into a space filled with soft, natural light thanks to a new rooflight. under this light, the rich material palette of stone and timber comes to life.

witherford watson mann builds a theater inside a 17th century stable block in the UK designboom

view from the balcony

image courtesy of witherford watson mann

 

 

the materials have been selected not just to complement the existing architecture, but also to provide acoustic warmth. with collaboration from acoustic consultant, sound space vision, the theater has been designed with a horseshoe-shaped hall, providing considerable acoustical reflections, resonance, clarity and immersion. 

witherford watson mann builds a theater inside a 17th century stable block in the UK designboom

the original stone walls define the space

image courtesy of witherford watson mann

 

 

nevill holt opera general manager, rosenna east, comments on the project, ‘we are delighted that our outstanding new theater has been recognized with a RIBA national award, a testament to the exceptional vision, creativity and hard work of the entire project team. from start to finish, this project has captured the imagination of all involved, and we are profoundly grateful to the david ross foundation for enabling it. audiences and artists alike are now able to enjoy world class opera in this uniquely intimate and stunning space.’

witherford watson mann builds a theater inside a 17th century stable block in the UK designboom

the use of timber complements the existing stone material

image courtesy of witherford watson mann

 

 

with consideration being payed to the historic surroundings and material palette, nevill holt opera welcomes theater-goers into a beautifully intimate space. designed by stirling prize winning architects witherford watson mann and theatre designers sound space vision, built by messenger BCR and supported by the david ross foundation, the intervention provides the perfect place to enjoy high-quality performances.

witherford watson mann builds a theater inside a 17th century stable block in the UK designboom

the spaces are bathed in soft, diffused light from the roof 

image courtesy of witherford watson mann

witherford watson mann builds a theater inside a 17th century stable block in the UK designboom

the space ready for a performance

image courtesy of witherford watson mann

 

witherford watson mann builds a theater inside a 17th century stable block in the UK designboom

site plan

image © witherford watson mann architects

witherford watson mann builds a theater inside a 17th century stable block in the UK designboom

stalls plan

image © witherford watson mann architects

witherford watson mann builds a theater inside a 17th century stable block in the UK designboom

balcony plan

image © witherford watson mann architects

witherford watson mann builds a theater inside a 17th century stable block in the UK designboom

cross section

image © witherford watson mann architects

witherford watson mann builds a theater inside a 17th century stable block in the UK designboom

long section

image © witherford watson mann architects

 

 

project info:

 

project name: ‘nevill holt opera’

location: nevill holt, leicestershire, the UK

architect: witherford watson mann architects

client: nevill holt opera

 

consultants:

 

theater & acoustic consultants: sound space vision

structural engineers: price & myers

services engineers: max fordham

cost consultants: gleeds

conservation architects: julian harrap architects

 

duration: 2015 – 2018

status: built

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: lynne myers | designboom

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