Steel frame has given Glenn Howells Architects the simplicity that it needs to create 'The Dream Factory' in Warwick, a new home for Playbox Theatre, which is the first purpose-built theatre for young people in Britain. Low pavilions on either side of the 10m high central theatre space allow wheelchair access yet decrease the apparent mass of the structure in a residential area.
Most dramatic use of steel frame, however, is in the tilted and cantilevered canopy fusing the buildings and providing shelter for the 'village', the theatre's meeting space. A rainscreen flat-panel cladding system was installed by South Staffs Roofing. Glenn Howells won a limited design competition in 1996 and the project was awarded lottery funding in 1997. Construction started in July 1998 and finished in May 1999. The structural engineer was Techniker; service engineer was Stewart Associates. Quantity surveyor was Paul Mantle Partnership and contractor was Thomas Vale Construction. Sceno Plus of Montreal, Canada was the theatre consultant working with Acoustic Dimensions and Access Audit Consultants.