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Charcoalblue Collaborates on Recyclable Performance Venue

Venue consultancy Charcoalblue has worked with Haworth Tompkins Architects, in close association with the National Theatre's directors and in-house teams, to design a temporary theatre on London's South Bank.

The Shed, Managed for Charcoalblue by Senior Partner Jon Stevens, was designed in under six months and built in eight.

Steve Tompkins, Haworth Tompkins Architects, commented: "The Shed was conceived in a process of concentrated dialogue between trusted collaborators. We always enjoy Charcoalblue's willingness to challenge received wisdom, to keep gnawing at problems and to listen as well as lead. The energy generated in these conversations is hugely creative and highly enjoyable."

Andy Hayles, Managing Partner of Charcoalblue, continued: "We developed the design to create a tightly-focused three-sided playing area with a small fixed balcony, internal performer/audience circulation and the possibility of in-the-round and flat-floor formats by the addition or removal of blocks of seating.

"Charcoalblue's involvement has led to a highly innovative sustainable approach to the design, making use of natural ventilation, LED theatre lighting fixtures, stage floor and galleries constructed from reusable modular panels, and seating taken from the Cottesloe Theatre itself.

"Charcoalblue collaborated with Haworth Tompkins and the team to ensure that the space is as low-energy, sustainable and recyclable as possible, in recognition of its one-year lifespan. It's been a joy to work with Steve on this unique building."

Nick Starr, Executive Director of the National, said: "It's always instructive how creative and liberating a temporary project can be. Charcoalblue and Haworth Tompkins are ideal collaborators. Their impulse for innovation and experimentation has resulted in a building that is ridiculously good."

"By their nature, the process in creating temporary buildings is exciting," adds Charcoalblue's Senior Partner Gavin Green. "We've been privileged enough to be involved in many including the RSC's temporary thrust stages - the Courtyard, the Roundhouse temporary theatre and New York touring venue. However none quite compare to the speed and intimacy of The Shed. It's a unique creative box for the NT designers and directors to explore."





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