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Rockvilla in Glasgow

National Theatre of Scotland Building: Headquarters – design by Hoskins Architects

23 Jan 2017

National Theatre of Scotland

Design: Hoskins Architects

Location: Glasgow, Scotland

Rockvilla in Glasgow

Rockvilla in Glasgow

National Theatre of Scotland HQ Opening

Hoskins Architects are pleased to announce the unveiling of Rockvilla, a new headquarters for the National Theatre of Scotland on the banks of the Forth & Clyde Canal in Glasgow. This new facility brings together various departments and facilities that were previously scattered across several different locations.

Rockvilla in Glasgow

In keeping with the National Theatre of Scotland’s declaration of being a ‘Theatre Without Walls’ – committed to performing to diverse geographic audiences and engaging with the community – this new facility will not host public performances, but rather will be a creative engine room for the Company. Rockvilla will facilitate their expansion nationally and internationally, and will continue to reinvigorate a part of Glasgow that is fast becoming its cultural quarter.

The redevelopment of a disused industrial warehouse on the banks of the Forth & Clyde Canal provides the Company with approximately 3700sqm of space over two levels, and incorporates: three rehearsal rooms of varying scales, a learning and community suite, wardrobe department, production workshop and technical store; plus office space and social areas.

The retention of the structural warehouse frame creates a typically factory-like form; a new biomass boiler enclosure adjacent being the only additional footprint on the site. The building is clad in sinusoidal metal, a material synonymous with the industrial aesthetic, appropriate for the vision of a ‘creative factory’ and in keeping with the history of the site.

Rockvilla in Glasgow

The elevation is raised above the banal by the careful arrangement of openings and cladding into four distinct bands, creating a calm, controlled façade. The use of a limited palette of materials internally (white walls and a polished concrete ground floor with an exposed steel structure, existing and new) continues the raw aesthetic while meeting the performance requirements of a modern theatre company.

Visual connections – often by way of high-performance acoustic glazing – between the different departments, including the rehearsal spaces, is key to the design and bringing together a company who have never before been housed under the same roof. An internal double-height atrium allows light deep into the plan, and creates a social space where the paths of full-time staff cross with the large number of transient company members, such as actors visiting for rehearsals. The first floor open-plan office with distinct areas for informal discussions and rooms for meetings, reflects the company ethos of openness and collaboration, and has panoramic views back over the canal to the city centre beyond.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs said
‘‘Rockvilla will not only be a centre for creativity, production and talent development for the National Theatre of Scotland, it will be a hub of innovation for our wider Scottish theatre industry. This dedicated and inspiring space will enable this sector to continue to flourish and stand strong in their ambitions. I look forward to enjoying the success of this new initiative across Scotland’s stages, and around the world.”

Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council said
‘‘I am delighted to see the opening of Rockvilla on the banks of the canal in Speirs Wharf. This fantastic building is not only the engine room for the National Theatre of Scotland and the wider theatre community, but is also the latest act in the growing number of cultural organisations locating in this part of the city, all playing a key role in its regeneration. I have no doubt that Rockvilla will help inspire more outstanding work for the National Theatre of Scotland, and we are delighted to have supported its creation.”

Chris Coleman-Smith, Hoskins Architects Director said
‘‘We have enjoyed working with the National Theatre of Scotland since 2012. The new building Rockvilla, reflects the ambition of the National Theatre of Scotland, which delivers theatre on a national and international scale that is contemporary, confident and forward-looking. The building is designed to meet both the immediate and long-term requirements of the organisation, facilitate its continued evolution, development and growth, and contributing to the sustainable regeneration of the area.’’

Rockvilla Glasgow – Building Information

Client: The National Theatre of Scotland
Architect: Hoskins Architects
Mechanical and Electrical Engineer: Atelier Ten
Structures and Civil Engineer: Woolgar Hunter
QS/Employers Agent: Thomas & Adamson
Acoustic Consultant: Sandy Brown Associates

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