Christ’s Hospital School
Horsham, West Sussex
were the architectural designers and specialist theatre consultants to Christ’s Hospital School working on a major refurbishment and modernisation of a Grade 2 star listed Theatre originally completed in 1975, the first ‘courtyard’ theatre in the UK designed by the eminent architects Howell Killick Partridge Amis.
The works included a complete overhaul of the electrical and mechanical systems, and a thorough upgrade of the house and stage lighting, audio and communications, and stage rigging, with the inclusion of a number of additional electric hoist sets, primarily over the downstage areas. In addition, the backstage and foyer accommodation was completely refurbished, as was the auditorium, seating and stage areas. The moveable stage towers can now be moved into several different positions on the stage to create a complete ‘theatre-in-the-round format’, as was the original design intention.
There are around 250 naked ‘sparkle’ bulbs around the fascias of the auditorium galleries and on the stage towers – these are all individually programmable, and can controlled as part of the new house, general and working light LED installation, and also operated from the stage lighting desk.
There is a new single storey extension to the foyer designed in the style of the original building which more than doubles the FOH accommodation, refurbished toilets, dressing rooms, backstage and the auditorium, and re-upholstered the original bespoke moveable bench seating. The original ceremonial narrow ramp into the main entrance has been widened and lowered so there are now no steps into the building.
This was a complex and highly detailed project, which, despite several months lost to the lockdown, was finally completed by the end of November 2020.