Haworth Tompkins incubates Egg theatre

The Theatre Royal Bath is poised to unveil an unusual looking £3m children’s theatre, The Egg, designed by Haworth Tompkins, with a brand identity drawn up by Buffalo Design.

The 124-seat auditorium is designed in the shape of an egg, and has been constructed to fit inside an internal space measuring just 10m by 15m. It will open on 23 October.

Buffalo Design, based in Bath, was appointed in May to design The Egg’s identity and also revamp the theatre’s existing identity, which relaunched in July.

Naming the theatre was an ‘organic process’ says Kate Cross, director at The Egg.

‘The auditorium is shaped like an egg and it became an easier shorthand to refer to it as that. The name just stuck,’ she says.

The egg’s surface will be clad with felt and translucent red corrugated plastic. The materials help with acoustics but will also introduce a sense of playfulness into the area, says Tom Grieve, project architect on the scheme.

Haworth Tompkins has also designed a rooftop rehearsal area and a café featuring a reflective ceiling. This will be accessible to the general public and will provide a space for workshops and impromptu performances to take place.

‘The theatre will be a fun and interesting space, without being condescending to the children. The area is full of interesting areas that you can retreat to and explore. It is engaging – you can lean against the egg and touch its squidgy surfaces, for example,’ Grieve explains.

Haworth was appointed to the project following a pitch five years ago. Planning permission for the scheme was granted in March 2003.

Fuse, a team of 12 nine-to-18-year-olds, advised theatre managers, board members and external professionals on what they wanted from the theatre. The team also visited other projects in London, Dublin and Bristol to help contribute to the design brief.

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