Caryl Churchill Theatre at Royal Holloway, University of London

The £2.5 million theatre in north London, named after playwright Caryl Churchill, was built beside Grade II-listed Sutherland House as an extension to the University’s drama department. The theatre seats audience of 175 people on two levels, with a third level for technical operation, and features a welcoming foyer, separate rehearsal and teaching spaces, dressing rooms and workshop areas. 

Skelly & Couch was appointed to undertake full mechanical, electrical, environmental and acoustics design duties. The primary goal of the project was to reorganise the existing building to provide coherent theatre-making and performance facilities to a professional standard.

Features of the buildings include high levels of thermal insulation and airtightness and good levels of daylight. They make use of a combined heat and power system and a local district heating network. All these factors contributed to the development meeting the London Plan’s 40% carbon reduction target and its achievement of a BREEAM Very Good Rating and an EPC rating of A. 

The en-suite areas of the buildings were formed using pre-fabricated pods. Skelly & Couch took the design to RIBA stage E and then was then appointed by the contractor to complete the design. 

* Shortlisted for a 2015 RIBA South East Award *