Tuke Manton architects were commissioned by Notre Dame School to develop a new performing arts centre, including a 370 seat theatre and new drama studio with support spaces.

Notre Dame School has a 400 year old tradition and expertise in educating girls, and has been established in Cobham for 70 years. They educate 760 children from primary to senior school.

The new building allows the girls to perform, direct and stage manage in professional accommodation, and the new courses enrich their experience of the whole range of theatre skills.

The site for redevelopment was the old hall constructed during the the 1960s. The school has a sports gym on the site and the existing hall was used mainly for drama performances. However, the Hall did not meet the requirements of drama teaching in today’s curriculum.

The brief was to design a 370 seat theatre and new drama studio with support spaces. The proposal demolished the existing hall and garage and the new building is linked into the existing dining area.

The new drama studio will open up to the new foyer so that it can be used as one large space during performances. The foyer links into the dining room so that it in turn can be used for receptions associated with performances.

The foyer incorporates as much glass as possible to allow views through the building. Activity in the foyer and drama space will be visible by passing pedestrians.

In the development of the new theatre we have worked closely with the staff, end users and design team to create a building used for drama well into the 21st Century. We presented our proposals to the local residents and parents of the School which were met with support and anticipation for the new building.

Now that the building is complete we wish the school every success in the development of the drama curriculum.