International School Riyadh

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia474 seats

The British International School in Riyadh (BISR) is home to 1600 boys and girls aged from three to seventeen and hailing from 55 different nations. Although completely independent, the school follows the British curriculum and takes pride in the quality of both its education and its facilities.

The new seating in the assembly hall was intended to give the space a new lease of life, replacing some loose seating. Visibility to the stage had been poor - a particular issue in assemblies when parents were present, and had to hold phones, cameras and tablets aloft to capture their childrens' magic moments.

After a recommendation from another school, BISR selected Audience Systems to supply a large bank of retractable seating. The retractable bank is power operated for ease of opening and closing, and is fitted with Espace 628 chairs finished in a striking red livery.

"It is superb," says Principal Chris Mantz, "and made a vast difference to the quality of our assemblies, presentations and so on. It really is magnificent."

A few design details further enhanced the seating design. Instead of using two separate seating units with a walkway between, a "vomitory" opening in the seating unit allows entrance to the hall with further seating above. The whole bank of seating can be opened or closed with a single controller. In addition, a further 26 removable "Matrix" chairs can be deployed in front of the retractable platforms to further increase seating capacity.

"The service from Audience Systems was excellent," says Chris Mantz, "even though Saudi Arabia has very significant challenges when importing anything - let alone a huge seating system. I would very much recommend Audience Systems to other schools in the region."