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Dartmoor Arts Theatrical Space, Dartmoor, United Kingdom

Friday 06 Dec 2013

Learning through experience

Photographs: Michael Smallcombe 
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Theatrical space for Dartmoor Arts Organisation realised in six days by Jerry Tate Architects and university students 

Jerry Tate Architects worked alongside students at this summer’s Dartmoor Arts Week (UK) to design and construct a theatrical reception space for the Dartmoor Arts organisation.

A central part of the summer schools’ ‘Spatial Structures’ course, the pavilion was completed in only six days as a collaborative exercise between students, Jerry Tate Architects and carpenters Henry Russell and Charley Brentnall.

Rising from the curved base platform are 10 crescent shaped ribs, equally spaced to form a shell-like pavilion. These timber poles are tethered by nylon cords, which come to a final resting point anchored into the ground. The team worked together to build student confidence and construct an innovative structure.

This locally sourced larch wood pavilion is erected using two main components; the raised deck and ribbed roof. Firstly, the compact wedge shaped sections of the deck are laid into position, and then the bow shaped poles are constructed to form a roof which can fold out using a two-way hinged mechanism.  

The collaboratively designed structure can be assembled in less than 5 minutes by 2 people and is transportable in a small trailer, resulting in a reception space that can be used as an exhibition structure for travelling art shows and events. A canvas cover will be pulled over the ribs to weatherproof the building in future years.

Jerry Tate said: “This project is an entirely collaborative design between the tutors and the students on the course and is an exercise in joint authorship and cooperative working. The innovative design for the moving mechanism in the structure was developed through a series of maquettes made at a variety of scales to discover the optimum deployment system. All design decisions were taken through a democratic process.”


Architect: Jerry Tate
Carpenters: Henry Russell and Charley Brentnall
Teaching Assistant: Amy Bradley-Smith
Technician: Paul Dove (PJ)
Students: Calum Bolger, Rachel Ara, Megan Ancliffe, Timothy Ekins, Steve Anderson, Ellen Sinclair, Philippa Lewis, Hannah Coombe, Viktorija Chairulina, Sarah Hodge, Chiara Fingland, Jessica Voremberg, Philippa Birch, Shaun McLeod, Stefan Batorijs & Beth Hamer.

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
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Jerry Tate Architects

More projects by this architect

Hollin House

The Biodiversity Nest

Dartmoor Art Week Treehouse


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