Design Awards 2013
Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock
Winner: Design Award
The Beacon Arts Centre is a theatre complex designed by LDN Architects for the Greenock Arts Guild. The £8.5 million venue will become a vibrant focal point for performing arts in the area, and an asset for the local community. It is part of a wider redevelopment of former harbour area and is sited adjacent to the Category A Listed Custom House.
The new building houses two performance spaces; a multi-level theatre, stage and studio space, together with a café-bar, and a range of multi-purpose meeting rooms within a simple compact footprint. The café-bar and meeting rooms enjoy views across the Clyde estuary towards the Argyll hills.
The main auditorium is a modern interpretation of a traditional end stage theatre and seats 500 people over stalls, circle and upper circle levels. It is designed primarily for drama with a full flytower and broad proscenium. Within the auditorium the circle levels are stepped downwards and toward the stage with a series of open boxes that connect audience with actor, giving the theatre an intimate character.
The second performing space – designed as a black box studio space – seats 128 people. This is fitted with retractable seating and can be configured in a variety of formats.
The compact plan is an economic arrangement of the spatial needs of the performing spaces, which drives the basic form of the building. External materials are a combination of sandblasted and cast structural glass planks, clear glass. pre-cast concrete, and anthracite zinc. Their selection, in conjunction with the stepped profile, reflects the genius loci, the hard industrial legacy of Greenock harbour, and provides the building with a bold, distinctive identity.