Set the stage for timber success

Sam Wanamaker Timber Stage

Read about some of UK’s high-quality timber stages for music, theatre and art

Each of the following projects make use of the unique qualities inherent to timber, such as being lightweight, acoustic qualities for music performance, off-site manufacture, and this is just scratching the surface of its extensive list of attributes as a building material. However, what truly sets these spaces apart is the striking visual impact of their use of timber, captivating spectators and performers alike.

The following case studies highlight not only technical aspects of the cladding, joinery, acoustic design, durability, but also encourage an appreciation of their aesthetic allure and showcase the craftsmanship embedded within them.

These timber-centric venues for music, theatre and art transcend their construction, evolving into cultural landmarks that foster community engagement, becoming vibrant hubs where people gather to share their passions.

Peter Hall Performing Arts Centre

The Peter Hall Performing Arts Centre is a new teaching and live entertainment space at The Perse School. On this project FSC-certified European oak was used for the staircase and its handrails, and for the balustrades of vertical boards which line the staircase and landings. Along the glazed north wall, the vertical oak boards of the landing balustrade are set with gaps to enhance daylight and reflect the open nature of the foyer.

Royal Academy of Music Theatre and new Recital Hall

Two exceptional performance spaces, designed by Ian Ritchie Architects, have been seamlessly integrated into the Royal Academy of Music. Founded in 1822, the academy is Britain's oldest conservatoire and is housed on the edge of Regents Park in a Grade II listed historic building which has long been extended and adapted.

Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse is small and intimate, a flat stage surrounded by two storeys of galleries framed in oak and lit by candlelight, creating what The Observer has described as ‘a strange play of authenticity and illusion’.

New Bury Theatre

The theatre accommodates a variety of formats to suit drama, dance, music theatre and musical performances as well as school assemblies. It is also a highly sustainable, low carbon building, achieved by the use of a timber structure and cladding together with a natural cooling and ventilation strategy.

Sevenoaks Performing Arts Centre

The new Performing Arts Centre for Sevenoaks School sits on a beautiful sloping site overlooking Knole Park. It contains a concert hall large enough for a symphony orchestra, choir and an audience of 450, a recital room for 100, and a music school with 23 teaching spaces of various sizes, plus a new drama studio, with drama teaching and technical spaces.

Cedars Hall

Wells Cathedral School, founded in AD909, is renowned for music and one of just five in the country to offer specialist musical education to school children. All these facilities are now provided in an elegant and award-winning new building, Cedars Hall, designed by Eric Parry Architects. There are spaces for the teaching, learning, practice and recording of music, designed to professional standards, together with a magnificent hall for recitals and performance.

Colyer-Fergusson Building

The concert hall is a flexible and adaptable space, large enough to accommodate a full 80-piece orchestra, a 200 strong choir and an audience of 350, yet equally suitable for a piano or solo recital. The building also includes a generous foyer, practice rooms and offices, as well as storage spaces for instruments, music and equipment, together with technical spaces.