Eden Court Theatre Inverness Arts Building, Scottish Highlands Cinema, Architect design images

Eden Court : Inverness Theatre

Arts Venue in Northern Scotland design by Page Park Architects


Dates built: 2006-07

Design: Page Park Architects

Photos © Keith Hunter

New theatre building far left of first picture:
Eden Court Theatre Inverness Building

25 Jan 2008

Eden Court Theatre

Eden Court Theatre Inverness

Eden Court Theatre Inverness – Box Office 01463 234234

New 270 seat theatre; two new cinemas; new Bishop’s Palace courtyard link
Eden Court Inverness £22.7m refurbishment + expansion

RIAS Best Building in Scotland Award Finalist 2008

Eden Court Theatre Building Award

Page Park was appointed by The Eden Court Theatre in Inverness to extend and refurbish their facilities, originally designed by Law Dunbar Naismith in 1976.

The client also wanted to be able to provide flexible space for a broader range of cultural and conference activities. In addition to refurbishment of existing facilities, the brief included a flexible second theatre seating 264, two cinemas to seat 138 and 86, two studios for drama and dance, new office accommodation and new dressing room facilities.

In considering how best to extend the original building the design team opted to present the new facilities as a third building element located on the south side of the 1976 building which mirrors its relationship with the adjacent Bishop’s Palace (also part of the theatre complex). The new theatre, studios and cinema are arranged to wrap around the existing building, stepping down to allow the formation of a cafe terrace overlooking the river and landscaped grounds, it is assembled under a simple roof, extending forward to provide cover to the external seating terrace; this creates an appropriate civic presence to the riverfront and to the city beyond.

The asymmetry of the new extension and the design of the tall ventilation towers echo the form of the Bishop’s Palace. The back of house building to the rear of the existing theatre transforms into a civic presence to the garden, river frontage and the city. A simple three storey box can be seen at the rear containing support accommodation including dressing rooms, green room, wardrobe facilities and loading bay truck access.

Eden Court Theatre Inverness Eden Court Theatre Eden Court Theatre Building Eden Court Inverness

The building is faced in bold yellow render with fenestration gathered together into horizontal bands and larger openings, such as the loading bay and exit doors; this wraps around the new auditorium (EC2) and steps up to be replaced by the stone cladding of the civic frontage, this change in geometry is further emphasised by the cantilivered glass forms of studio 2 and foyer of EC2 and a series of purple rendered recesses. The civic element in the composition takes the form of an elevated public terrace faced in stone cladding with a variety of finishes, which is given shelter by a partly glazed roof element.

The perforated form of the terrace enclosure allows for a more sensitive relationship with the glazed foyers of the 1976 building and creates an elevated terrace onto which the first floor foyer cafe bar can extend in good weather. The junction between the extension and 1976 building is treated as a light fi lled link that takes the distinctive geometry of the original 1976 foyer roof and extends these to form a partly glazed atrium over the cinema cafe bar below. The entrance has been relocated to a more prominent position facing the city centre and is accessed via a new path from the Cathedral car park corner through a newly created landscaped garden featuring a landform by artist Kate Whiteford.

The new steel structure is distinct from the architecture of the existing building, yet takes its roof geometry from the original and wraps round to the north to enclose a ramped link to the Bishop’s Palace leads directly to a roof glazed court and prefaces the entry to the original house. The Bishop’s Palace has been restored to its original arrangement of rooms. The principal rooms at ground level together with the central stair and chapel have been restored to reveal the original pitch pine timberwork and form meeting/reception rooms, which can be accessed by the public.

The new spaces have been designed to be naturally ventilated, which has greatly influenced the architecture of the new extension and includes six large ventilation towers, these have been boldly clad in black, blue and polished stainless steel to a design by artist Donald Urquhart. This major refurbishment and expansion of Eden Court has been a significant cultural development making the theatre the largest multi-arts centre in Scotland.

Eden Court Theatre and Cinema – Address:
Bishops Road, Inverness, Scotland IV3 5SA

Eden Court Theatre Inverness Eden Court Theatre Inverness Eden Court Theatre Inverness Eden Court Theatre Inverness

Page Park Architects

Page Park is a thriving Glasgow based practice of 35 staff working across a number of sectors including public building, conservation, education, housing and commercial projects. The practice has a reputation for thoughtful and dynamic design responding to what are often challenging and sensitive contexts. A concern for the future of the environment is refl ected in a thorough understanding of human relationships and aspirations in building design through to appropriate models for the shaping and development of the urban landscape.

Eden Court Theatre

Eden Court Theatre can now provide the people of the Highlands with the very finest arts facilities. Not only will they be able to experience the very best in theatre and cinema entertainment, they will also be able to enjoy new galleries, exhibitions, fantastic bar and restaurant facilities and for the very first time be able to visit the Bishop’s Palace, one of the most important historical buildings in Inverness’

Eden Court Theatre Inverness Box Office 01463 234234

Eden Court Theatre Extension design: Page Park Architects

Best Building in Scotland Award Finalist 2008

Eden Court Theatre : Law Dunbar Naismith, now LDN Architects

Location: Eden Court, Inverness, Scotland

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Website: Eden Court Inverness