The Deck, National Theatre, South Bank

The Deck National Theatre, South Bank London Building, Project, Photo, Design

The Deck, National Theatre

South Bank Building Development, London, UK – design by A-EM Studio Ltd

11 Jun 2009

The Deck National Theatre

Location: South Bank, City of London SE1 9PX

Design: A-EM Studio Ltd

National Theatre

Stunning rooftop events venue

Phone: 020 7452 3796

Address: National Theatre, South Bank, London SE1 9PX

Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award Finalist 2009

The Deck National Theatre The Deck National Theatre The Deck National Theatre

The Deck at the National Theatre

About the project
The National Theatre wanted to use its public spaces more imaginatively, and raise more revenue. The roof seemed to be an ideal place for receptions and corporate entertainment. It has spectacular views, is easily accessible from the foyer, and has service access from the back of house.

A-EM responded to the brief by designing the Deck, a 200 square metre glowing box structure, made from tubular mild steel clad with polycarbonate panels. A tensile PVC membrane roof fits over the central space and is lit by LED fittings which produce kaleidoscopic colours.

However, the site cannot take loading and it is exposed to high winds. The solution was to suspend the structure on a steel support, transferring loadings to bearing points. The pre-fabricated pavilion was craned into position and bolted together on site. It was designed to be dismantled, as initially planning permission was only for seven months each year. This is an inventive, cost effective design solution, on a complex and sensitive site.

The Deck National Theatre The Deck National Theatre The Deck National Theatre

The Deck has proved a success – first season earnings were twice those predicted – and now has full permission for five years.

Judges’ comment
“The Deck has successfully met awkward construction challenges and ingeniously created a new event facility.”

The Deck, National Theatre – Building Information

Client: National Theatre
Principal designer: A-EM Studio Ltd
Principal engineer: Delstar Engineering, Flint & Neill Ltd
Principal contractor: National Theatre
Contract value: £500,000


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The Deck at the National Theatre

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The Deck, National Theatre Building