An elevated 'pod' acting as porch and lighting control box The main entrance foyer of the building, the piazza, is a 40 x 18m double-height space with a glazed roof. It is the 'front-of-house'area to the auditorium but is also intended for a wider, more general, public use and is large enough to be used for performances.
A pedestrian bridge, partly enclosed by a 'pod', runs 18m along the side wall of the piazza at first-floor level. The pod acts as a porch to a pair of double doors in the side wall, which gives access to the piazza from retail units.
During piazza performances, the bridge can be used as an upper viewing platform and the pod becomes the lighting control box; a lighting bar projecting from it is operated by a small lockable control box.
The pod is formed of three separate elements: a freestanding 450mm thick concrete wall; a t & g oakplank screen, with a viewing grille of steel slats and a glazed vision strip as an insert; and a curved roof/wall which appears to hover over the wall and screen.
The roof/wall is formed of a pair of curved 203 x 203mm steel universal beams, lined with timber joists and clad with white-painted plasterboard, scored to create the curved shape. It is separated from the oak screen by a 200mm gap, maintained by a series of 100 x 100mm steel angles, and is propped above the concrete wall on stub columns. The pod is supported on one side by the wall and on the other by a canted Y-shaped column of 219.1mm and 114mm diameter CHSs.
The bridge is formed of steel channels with outwardfacing flanges and 133 x 102mm T-shaped sections at 1m centres, on which rests a floor of 195 x 35mm t & g oak planks.