Roundhouse – London London, United Kingdom

Adapting rectilinear seating into a circle

The client sought to re-establish the Roundhouse as a creative centre for young people by converting the former Victorian turntable railway engine shed into a rock and arts venue that included young people's recording studios.
The objective for capacity was that the venue should be capable of holding maximum number of seated and standing audiences and be able to convert into an empty corporate hire venue.
The inherent challenges came from the budget for the seating and platforming which was half that of retractable seating systems and creating a seating system which could be demounted and put up in two days for 1800 seats.

Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London, United Kingdom
The Roundhouse, London, UK.
John McAslan & Partners

Roundhouse – London




Roundhouse - London Conception

As the performance and seating consultants AMPC designed variable seating layouts to create audiences of 500, 1200 and 1800 in formats of thrust stage, in the round and traverse.

Roundhouse - London Gestation

AMPC researched all temporary seating systems in the market at the time.

The potential to form four different systems and then adapt to the new geometry of the space as a performance area were tendered. We worked with a successful staging company to adapt their system from a rectilinear to circular geometry. AMPC prepared layouts and storage requirements for each configuration.

We collaborated with a seating company to adapt their seats to the platforming system used.

Roundhouse - London Birth

The transformed Roundhouse opened in 2006 giving a new life to a long-time derelict building: the venue with such iconic history reborn to reassert its former excellent reputation for international programming.

Activities, shows & life of the project

Over the time and with strong artistic leadership the Roundhouse has established a strong rock and pop identity, as well as comedy, circus festivals, spoken word programmes and more recently amplified opera.

As technology developed and the programming success was established, the balcony seating was mechanised to increase the commercial offer.

The adaptable seating has proved very flexible, being reconfigured for seasons of the RSC as well as circuses.

Dress rehearsals for A Midsummer Nights Dream at the Roundhouse, Camden, London. 30 tonnes of mud was brought from Devon and sifted down to a comfortable grain size for the stage. This particular mud is very red in colour in order to give a feel of India. A high view looking down on actors rehearsing on the stage The Roundhouse plays host to Tim Supple's acclaimed Indian production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's dream for a strictly limited 6-week season from 8 March 2007. This is the first play to be performed in this landmark venue since its magnificent redevelopment. 6/3/07 © David Levene / Guardian / eyevine For more information contact eyevine: T: 020 8709 8709 E: EDITORIAL USE ONLY. All usage fees to be agreed with eyevine or an agent appointed by eyevine prior to publication. End users shall not licence, sell, transmit, or otherwise distribute any GNM photographs represented by eyevine, to any third party.