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Kingsdale School Auditorium

Kingsdale School Auditorium

Structural Award Winner 2004

Location: London
Client/Owner: Mayor and Burgesses of Southwark
Architect: de Rijke Marsh Morgan
Structural Engineer: Michael Hadi Associates
Main Contractor/Builder: Galliford Try
Joinery: Cowley Structural Timberwork
Wood Species: Scottish Larch, Birch Plywood

The egg-shape auditorium and library are the centrepiece of a new 3200m2 covered courtyard at Kingsdale School in Dulwich. The library is tucked beneath the banked seating of the auditorium.

Described by the judges as hugely impressive and an extraordinary effect, the deformed geodesic structure is made of Scottish larch poles connected by steel and aluminium nodes designed by Cowley Structural Timberwork.

The frame is clad in birch plywood with integral acoustic treatment. Detailing is almost non-existent; the only visible embellishment is the fixing points for the ply panels. Inside, bent plywood bench Seating continues the theme. Acoustic treatment includes suspended birch plywood reflectors that shape the sound around the stage, while Melatech foam has been applied directly to the shell as a sound absorber.

Two opening roof lights allow natural light into the warm, plywood-clad interior. The judges say: “Great credit should be given to the school for commissioning such an exciting building.