Garsington Opera Pavilion

Snell Associates Architects, Buckinghamshire, 2011


Subscribe now to instantly view this image

Subscribe to the Architects’ Journal (AJ) for instant access to the AJ Buildings Library, an online database of nearly 2,000 exemplar buildings in photographs, plans, elevations and details.

Already a subscriber? Sign in


Dennis Gilbert (website)     Download Original

  • Structural wireframe model    
  • Structural acoustic sail model    
  • Location plan    
  • Site plan    
  • Lower terrace plan    
  • Upper terrace plan    
  • Roof plan    
  • Section A-A    
  • Section B-B    
  • West elevation - sliding solar screens closed    
  • West elevation - sliding solar screens open    
  • Part elevation/section    
  • Site illustration    
  • Concept section    
  • Concept plan    
  • Acoustic air beam    
  • Acoustic sail - plans and sections    

Steel framed opera pavilion with a semi-exposed environment, designed to be erected and dismantled each season

Due to the landlord’s and planners’ requirements the venue has to be dismantled and moved offsite at the end of every season; the theatre can be erected in less than four weeks, taking as long again to dismantle and remove.

The pavilion’s lightweight steel frame structure uses split pin connections throughout and is enclosed with a fabric envelope.

The lightweight fabric design controls sound reflection, using the convex PVC membrane roof and its sculpted and tilted walls of shiny, clear PVC. An outer roof membrane disperses rain and reduces noise levels by 14 decibels.

The theatre has planning consent for 15 years and sits on a level area surrounded by woodlands, and facing a lake, on leased land in Wormely Park, Buckinghamshire


  • Begun: Nov 2010
  • Completed: May 2011
  • Floor area: 2,065m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £1.8M
  • Address: Wormsley Estate, Near High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, HP14 3YE, United Kingdom

Professional Team