1. Click image to expand

    Studio Seilern Architects designed a new performing arts centre at Wellington College in Berkshire. Picture: Kanipak Photography

  2. Click image to expand

    Studio Seilern Architects designed a new performing arts centre at Wellington College in Berkshire. Picture: Kanipak Photography

  3. Click image to expand

    Studio Seilern Architects designed a new performing arts centre at Wellington College in Berkshire. Picture: Kanipak Photography

  4. Click image to expand

    Studio Seilern Architects designed a new performing arts centre at Wellington College in Berkshire. Picture: Hufton+Crow

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Greek amphitheatre inspires performing arts centre

Magda Ibrahim
Tuesday 05 Feb 2019

Studio Seilern Architects designed the auditorium at an English school that educated writers George Orwell and Sebastian Faulks.

The new £15m GW Annenberg Performing Arts Centre has opened at Wellington College in Berkshire.

The main 1,400 capacity auditorium’s circular shape is inspired by historic Greek amphitheatres, creating a building with no angles that sits within its forest setting. 

Designed with high quality acoustics and efficient circulation in mind, the shape of the auditorium was chosen to give an intimacy to Wellington College students’ performance. 

The auditorium balcony fronts have been designed as an evolving surface that reflects and scatters the sound to maximise the theatrical experience.

In addition to the auditorium, Studio Seilern Architects designed a “Cultural Living Room” space which doubles as a foyer and a creative hub for the arts. 

The space can cater for exhibitions, smaller impromptu performances, creative teaching and cultural gatherings. 

Fronted by a glass façade, it is transparent and open to the wider campus, giving an active frontage and a face to Wellington’s artistic activities. 

The buildings are clad in stained timber, sitting softly alongside the dark bark vernacular textures.

Julian Thomas, Master of Wellington, said: “This wonderful building will not only benefit the pupils and parents of Wellington but will also bring together our local community and our many partnership schools. It is to be a beacon of excellence and a powerful symbol of the way in which the arts can transform both lives and communities.”

The project’s theatre consultants are Charcoalblue with acoustic consultants BickerdlikeAllen. 

The World Architecture News Awards features the best in international design, as well as other types of current and future projects. To see the full list of winners and categories for the WAN Awards 2018, click here.

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