A THEATRE and a Stage-by-the-Sea are up for international awards.
The Stage-by-the-Sea, in Littlehampton, and the restored Chichester Festival Theatre have been shortlisted for the Structural Awards 2015, which recognise ‘the most outstanding structural engineering projects in the world’.
Sited in a sunken garden beside the beach in Littlehampton, Stage-by-the-Sea acts as a stage and shelter for the local community.
Design firm Expedition Engineering used spray concrete, more normally associated with tunnelling and other underground infrastructure projects, to create an architectural shell structure.
The shells’ shape and interior surface has been sculpted to reflect, project and focus the sound of performers towards the audience, providing acoustics for musicians and eliminating the need for electronic amplification – a modern counterpoint to the second world war-era ‘sound mirrors’ located further down the coast.
The Chichester Festival Theatre is one of very few 20th-century buildings to be Grade-II listed.
Opened in 1962, it caused a stir with its strong Brutalist design.
After 50 years of use, the building required thorough modernisation.
Engineering firm Price and Myers restored much of the original design, removing all previous extensions and remodelling the foyer and auditorium, as well as adding a new steel extension – an arrangement which allowed the theatre to suspend various props and rigging systems above the thrust stage, without putting any additional load on the existing roof.
The Structural Awards are held each year by the Institution of Structural Engineers.
This year’s shortlist features designs from South Africa, Central America, China, Europe, Singapore and the United States.
Martin Powell, chief executive of the Institution of Structural Engineers, said: “This Structural Awards shortlist really showcases the outstanding professionalism and creativity of structural engineers and the profound effect they have in helping to shape our world.”
For more information on The Structural Awards visit www.structuralawards.org
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