Inclusiveness is a core value at Wellington College, something in which they pride themselves on and of the reasons why there pupils are keen to get involved in the Arts. Studio Seilern Architects competition winning design for the new Performance Arts Centre (PAC) at Wellington College, UK aims to underpin this. Acting as the hub of the college’s new Cultural Quarter the project aims to upgrade the existing theatre facilities and will provide a 1400-seat performance space to accommodate a variety of activities.
The PAC will sit on the boundary between the campus and the forest that frames the southern and eastern areas, creating a vibrant public space that connects with the rich, green landscaping.
The materiality of the building becomes a defining factor. Seilern has proposed a charred wood cladding that gives the impression that the entire structure has emerged from the woods whilst still being a part of it.
Seilern’s proposal aims to add one more distinctive layer to the brief by creating a ‘cultural living room’ (CLR) between the existing theatre and the new assembly hall. The purpose of the CLR is to give students an unstructured and informal area for creative output such as holding exhibitions and talks. Furthermore, it is designed to act as a fun social hub for the community of Wellington College.
Christina Seilern said:
‘The scheme explores the idea of integrating a round auditorium as a floating object, a building without sides, hovering lightly above the ground, nested within the surrounding landscape.’