The Shed, National Theatre, London | Haworth Tompkins

The Shed is a new temporary venue presented by the National Theatre on London's South Bank, celebrating new theatre that is adventurous, ambitious and unexpected. For a year from April 2013, The Shed will present some of theatre’s most exciting artists in an intimate new performance space on the South Bank, opening with 'The Table' by Tanya Ronder.

The temporary structure is a playful and challenging installation rather than a building, with its simple form in plywood painted in bright red color and its distinctive corner ventilation towers that draw air through the building. A startling red box without doors or windows, it is a vibrant intervention on the cultural architecture of the South Bank, contrasting with the brutalist concrete mass of the National Theatre Building.

Conceived by architects Haworth Tompkins, it was then designed and built in little more than a year, as a collaborative process with theatre consultants, Charcoalblue, theatre-makers, designers and directors from the National Theatre and with contractors Rise Construction.

The Shed will give the National Theatre a third auditorium, while the Cottesloe is closed for a year during the National Theatre Future redevelopment, also designed by Haworth Tompkins.

Sited at the front of the National Theatre, just by the river, The Shed has 225 seats, is naturally ventilated and linked to the National Theatre building. However, it has its own entrance - temporary foyer, box office and a bar which will be open before and after performances. The interior dominating color is black, with a formal octagonal seating setup (with recycled materials, re-used seats) and the raw steel frame left exposed.

Photos © Helene Binet, Philip Vile

Source: The Shed, National Theare
Haworth Tompkins architects