Sadler's Wells Theatre

RHWL, London, 1998


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Two walls enclosing the glazed entrance 

Nicholas Kane (website)     Download Original

  • Two walls enclosing the glazed entrance    
  • A colony of buildings packed into a triangular site    
  • Windows on to Arlington Way    
  • Exterior at night    
  • The main auditorium    
  • View of staircase    
  • Serviced spaces and exposed steel structure    
  • Looking out through the glazed facade    
  • Bold works of art grace the walls    
  • The glass wall puts the audience on show    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • Third floor plan    
  • Section through auditorium    
  • Section through front of house    
  • Auditorium ventilation diagram    

Auditorium with 1,560 capacity, 80 seat orchestra pit, three foyer galleries with bars, plus rehearsal and teaching spaces

A concept emerged to use two enclosing walls as protection from the external environment. These are separated by a sheer glass pane on the front façade. The various elements that project from the structure are aligned with the axis of the auditorium within.

In the auditorium, good sightlines to all four corners of the stage and the need to accommodate the acoustic demands of both live orchestral sound and recorded music were major requirements.

The resulting space is a steeply raked, multi-tiered end-on auditorium with a 15m by 15m stage and 80 seat orchestra pit. Usually seating 1,560, it can be reconfigured to seat from 1,000 to 1,800. The stalls area can accommodate promenade or flat floor set-ups.


  • Begun: Sep 1996
  • Completed: Oct 1998
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £32M
  • Address: Rosebery Avenue , London, EC1R 4TN, United Kingdom

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