By continuing to use the site you agree to our Privacy & Cookies policy

Your browser seems to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser.


Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.




The 500-seat auditorium is housed in a steel drum, 40m in diameter and 20m high.

The IMAX screen wraps around a third of the inside walls and rises to over five storeys of the drum; other areas contain raked seating, ticket halls and foyers. To achieve acoustic attenuation, drum walls are lined with several layers of plasterboard, which are 750mm thick behind the IMAX screen and 1m thick where directly exposed. A 15m-high glazed gallery runs around the outside of the drum.

For speed of construction, the structural engineer, SKM Anthony Hunts, chose a steel structure. This consists of a series of braced UC columns which circle the drum's perimeter and support a primary roof structure of radiating steel lattice trusses.

They rise in a curve to the central apex and are connected by concentric steel-ring beams that support a secondary lattice truss roof structure. The raked seating is formed of precast concrete units on a steel frame.

To avoid large struts at its base, the delicate steel structure which supports the gallery is suspended from the roof's eaves.

It consists of a series of lozengeshaped, 15m-high steel ties, just inside the perimeter and braced with horizontal steel brackets.

The glass units are supported by bolts fixed to cast-steel arms, then welded to the columns.

By Susan Dawson Perspective drawing produced by Bison Structures

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment.

The searchable digital buildings archive with drawings from more than 1,500 projects

AJ newsletters