The Shed is a temporary performance space, seating an audience of 250 people. It is an alternative to the existing Cottesloe Theatre, which is being extensively renovated, and will remain in place until mid-2014.
Due to its temporary nature, construction cost was kept to a minimum. Ingleton Wood tabled a natural ventilation strategy to minimise building services costs and avoid complex acoustic issues.
Architects Haworth Tompkins bought into this idea and developed a strong design with a cuboid theatre and four chimneys, which act as ventilation stacks. Air is drawn in through a perforated mesh at low level around the perimeter of the building, with air supply via displacement terminals behind the seating.
The building was extensively modelled in IES to prove the natural ventilation strategy. Though this is a temporary space, the client demanded that the audience, actors and technical team should be comfortable throughout all seasons.
The Shed has been a huge success for the National Theatre, providing an intimate space due to its size and allowing it to put on a very different programme.