Bartlam Library, Selwyn College

Cambridge, UK139 seats

A striking new building at Selwyn College, Cambridge houses the Bartlam Library and this flexible space - the Quarry Whitehouse Auditorium.

The Auditorium is a multipurpose facility fit for the 21st Century, and shows off brilliantly what can be achieved when retractable seating is combined with movable walls. The auditorium is not only for use by the college, it is also intended for public events, and forms part of the university’s portfolio of conference spaces.

With the two spaces separated or combined, with or without the retractable seating and/or stacking seating, there is scope for events of all kinds: A conference with a tiered auditorium and a separate reception area, a networking event in a large open space, a meeting with stacking chairs in an informal layout.

From the start, extensive audio visual technology has been integrated into the space with a view to hosting hybrid in-person / online events.

The retractable seating we provided features our gorgeous Recital seats; spacious theatre chairs which seem to defy logic in their ability to fold away into retractable platforms. We also provided some matching stacking chairs with trolleys, which are not seen in these photos. The retractable platforms themselves are power operated so that the space can be transformed quickly with minimal manual handling.

Funded by donors and alumni, this £13m project is named after two of its most generous benefactors.


Photos: David Valinsky Photography