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Rockvilla is the 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.
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.

The elevation is defined 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.
PROJECT: Rockvilla
LOCATION: Craighall Road, Glasgow
CLIENT: National Theatre of Scotland
ARCHITECT: Hoskins Architects
Main Contractor:  Luddon Construction

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