SSDA 2019: G W Annenberg Performing Arts Centre

31 October 2019

The G W Annenberg Performing Arts Centre is a new theatre at Wellington College, one of the UK’s leading independent schools. With a total capacity for 1,200 people, it is an unusual circular theatre, built into a gently sloping site.

Merit: G W Annenberg Performing Arts Centre
Architect: Studio Seilern Architects
Structural engineer: PBA, now part of Stantec
Steelwork contractor: Advanced Fabrications Poyle
Main contractor: Beard Construction
Client: Wellington College

Inside, the 33m-diameter roof spans over the auditorium, where the curved plan of the building complements the internal arrangement of seating and structure around the focus of the stage.

High-level walkways within the roof not only give access to the lighting galleries but also form the backbone of the roof support structure, formed by a rectilinear arrangement of cambered
Warren/Vierendeel hybrid trusses.

Innovative and extensive structural transfer systems were developed throughout to enable the architect’s vision for this complex building. However, the overall complexity did not translate into complex steel fabrication details, as the building was designed to be a collection of simpler structures.

This was achieved in part by keeping the perimeter column spacing and internal floor spans to a minimum, thereby reducing the overall load applied to each transfer beam.

Produced by the BCSA and Steel for Life in association with Construction Manager

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