Nine-sided theatre with Elizabethan influence

Montaigne Theatre, Notre Dame School, Cobham

Unusual geometry makes the Montaigne Theatre a special place and an exciting venue for school productions

Challenge

A nine-sided building in the countryside and a limited budget for a world-class theatre with an Elizabethan influence: the Montaigne Theatre would require exquisite planning.

Solution

Our recommendation for the footprint of Notre Dame School’s theatre was based on the economics: creating a space just the right size to use the budget effectively. The result is a 376-seater auditorium with an innovative design that is both intimate and versatile, and takes advantage of the natural ventilation provided by the countryside location.
Influenced by the Elizabethan playhouse, the nonagon building harbours a nine-metre square stage framed by ‘Juliet’ balconies and facing an audience on fixed benches and some individual VIP seats. The pit contains adjustable seating for musicians, and a stage extension and flat floor fill-in provides additional flexibility. Much of the light and sound equipment is on the second balcony, with a circular technical bridge on the tier above: all of it is accessible safely.

Accolades

“The Montaigne Theatre brings to Notre Dame a facility worthy of the West End.”  School brochure

  • Seating capacity: 376
  • Project venue type: School Theatre 
  • Project build type: New build 
  • Location: UK 
  • Completion date: 2011 
  • Project value: £2.4 million
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