We are delighted that the Library of Birmingham has been nominated as a finalist for the 2014 Construction News Awards. Hussey Seatway worked with construction managers, Carillion PLC and theatre consultants, Charcoal Blue in the development of a custom retractable seating system for the studio theatre.
The library underwent a £188.8m construction renovation in 2013 with the adjoining Repertory Theatre in Centenary Square. The development created a more accessible and welcoming environment for people visiting the two cultural venues. The new 300-seat studio theatre significantly expanded the range and number of dramatic works that The REP can present.
Hussey Seatway engineered a seating solution that provided 229 seat places over eight retractable platforms with bespoke ‘row zero’ chairs featuring two stabilising wheels, allowing sections of seats to easily be removed for wheelchair access or other configurations. The custom design featured American Black Walnut veneered fascia boards to allow the closed seating system to seamlessly blend with the room’s dramatic, wood-panelled walls. Hussey Seatway also custom engineered a unique seating solution for the orchestra pit. The pit features removable seating frames that can be used elsewhere in the studio without fixings and can also be configured as an integral part of the pit lift. The added functionality of electronic partial opening allows for flexible seating arrangements, as required. The high specification Gallery Extra chairs, distinctive aisle lights and integral side rails, give the finished seating solution a true theatre feel and appealing, contemporary look.