Le Théâtre Elisabéthain au Château D'Hardelot

Condette, France

The Elizabethan theatre at Château d'Hardelot provides 16th-century theatre form with 21st-century renewable technologies, pitch-perfect acoustics and a bold vision.

A scenic wall provides performers’ entrances and an upstage balcony. This can be manually tracked upstage when not required.

Located three miles from the English Channel, the Centre Culturel de l'Entente Cordiale Château d'Hardelot exists to promote the cultural relationship between Kent and the Pas-de-Calais. Events previously centred around a summer season of British and French drama, opera, music and comedy, in a temporary venue at the castle. Due to its success, this programme has been expanded year-round following the completion of the permanent 388-seat theatre adjacent to the castle.

Andrew Todd’s design for an Elizabethan theatre form makes extensive use of structural timber and surrounds the theatre with a cylindrical bamboo screen, which helps the building to dissolve into its surroundings. The building uses very little energy through the use of natural ventilation systems and low-energy lighting. Daylight within the auditorium can be blacked out with blinds – even the substage green room has a skylight to allow daylight to flood backstage.

A scenic wall provides performers’ entrances and an upstage balcony. This can be manually tracked upstage when not required. Removable downstage scenic columns and a forestage elevator complete the transformation from Elizabethan stage to lyric stage format.

“...blends timeless principles and modern construction.”

The Guardian

Hardelot exterior

Andrew Todd’s design for an Elizabethan theatre form makes extensive use of structural timber and surrounds the theatre with a cylindrical bamboo screen, which helps the building to dissolve into its surroundings.

We provided advice on acoustic design, designed technical performance systems and assisted with the wider building planning.

We provided advice on acoustic design, designed technical performance systems and assisted with the wider building planning. The completed theatre is equipped with six motorised flying bars: as well as supporting technical theatre equipment, these can be rigged with simple timber reflectors to serve as acoustically-reflective surfaces and close off a layer of acoustic absorption above the grid. The control room at the back of the stalls seating features a control bench which (when seats are removed) can be pushed forward into the auditorium, creating an audio mix position without duplicating technical tielines.

“If the exterior is astonishing, the interior is an enchantment.”

L'Obs

Plan drawing of Le Théâtre Elisabéthain .au Château D'Hardelot

Alex and Caroline discuss the technical drawings.

Section drawing of Le Théâtre Elisabéthain au Château D'Hardelot.

Alex, Caroline, Paul and Simon pay a site visit.

The auditorium construction phase.

The control room at the back of the stalls seating features a control bench which (when seats are removed) can be pushed forward into the auditorium, creating an audio mix position without duplicating technical tielines.

“The ethos for this adaptable theatre was to provide simple, robust, low-energy solutions.”

Alex Wardle, Senior Consultant

Project Details

Client

Département du Pas-de-Calais

Project cost

€4.3m

Completed

2015

Awards

WAN Wood in Architecture Award 2017

Seating in the auditorium.

Credits

Architect

Studio Andrew Todd

Main contractor

Ramery

Stage Engineering Contractor

També

Stagelighting & Audiovisual Systems

CSE

Photography

Martin Argyroglo

Alex Wardle

Talk to Alex about Le Théâtre Elisabéthain.

+44 (0)20 7928 0000

Alex Wardle

Talk to Alex about Le Théâtre Elisabéthain.

Contact Alex

+44 (0)20 7928 0000