The Princess Alexandra auditorium an integral part of the overall masterplan for the Yarm School, Stockton on Tees. Thezinc clad performance hall is a double RIBA Award winner and has become a thriving arts venue in the North East of England.
A double-height entrance foyer connects the fan-shaped auditorium to a new riverside academic block. This new block contains classrooms, and multi-use dance and drama group activities spaces. The flexible auditorium’s entrance maximises stunning views of the River Tees on the way into the 800-seater space.
The flexibility of the Auditorium was achieved through the use of robust acoustic separating constructions and specialist fit out equipment, such as telescopic seating, an acoustically separating sliding proscenium partition which divides the Auditorium and Stage Studio Theatre into two independent teaching spaces, and an orchestra pit elevator able to be set to various levels.
The masterplan site proved to be extremely sensitive, with listed buildings, conservation areas, potential flooding, nationally significant archaeology, protected species and asbestos, standing between inception and completion. During all this, the careful implementation of the phased works programme meant the school was able to remain fully operational, even during construction operations.
“We are extremely honoured to be naming the auditorium after Princess Alexandra. It is most fitting that Princess Alexandra, so well known for her support of the performing arts, agreed to open the facility and gave the blessing for it to bear her name.” – David Dunn, Headmaster, Yarm School.
“Although the site offered some interesting challenges, we’ve delivered a flexible design, that’s attractive as well as practical, providing students of Yarm School the facilities to realise their full potential.” – Richard Perry – Director, Associated Architects.