ACS Cobham School
Cobham, Surrey, UK500 seats
ACS Cobham is an international school for children aged 2-18, based in leafy surroundings just outside London. With a strong arts programme in place, including at least six theatre productions per year, the school decided to convert an existing space into a new Performing Arts Centre, to include a 500 seat auditorium.
A unique flexible seating layout
Audience Systems worked with the school and theatre consultants Drama by Design to create a multifunctional auditorium, with the seating layout able to be optimised for different types of production. With a rake of retractable seating, and removable stalls seating in front, the space could also be completely cleared and used for other purposes. The retractable system is adapted so that it can be used with any number of rows open – a totally flexible set-up.
For the side and rear balconies, Audience Systems provided custom designed seats which could face into the room for “in-the-round” productions or be angled to face forward for more traditional stage layouts. They could also be removed to accommodate a band.
A perfect finish
High end touches mean the seating sits well in this beautifully specified auditorium. Solid beech armrests to the chairs, beech veneered fascias to hide the closed platforms, and striking photoluminous stair nosings all contribute to the final effect.
John Baddeley, Theatre Technician at the school commented, “The seats feel really good quality, with the right amount of padding to comfortably sit through a two hour performance. The removable Matrix seats strike the right balance between being easy to set out, and feeling sturdy – once they’re in place they don’t feel like removable seating. The process of putting the bleachers back is very smooth and we’re particularly impressed by the reflective nosings – they look brilliant, provide good grip and in the dark provide safe waylighting.”