New Bury Theatre
Hurstpierpoint College, Sussex

The New Bury Theatre provides Hurstpierpoint College with a flexible courtyard performing arts space with a capacity to seat 370. The building is a beautifully crafted theatre exploiting the inherent warmth and serenity of timber.

The three-storey auditorium is central to the Victorian Gothic quadrangle, identifiable with a zinc-clad pitched roof and four ventilation chimneys. The full height superstructure is predominantly exposed cross-laminated timber and glulam, with a few isolated steel elements such as the cranked beams to form the raked seating, which provides sufficient space for the services beneath. Glulam columns support the perimeter gallery levels and glulam roof trusses are spaced at regular centres, spanning the full width of the auditorium to create the large, column-free space. The trusses also provide essential support for lighting rigs, technical equipment and access decks. 

The building has been designed to be low carbon, achieved using timber as both the structure and cladding, and uses natural cooling and ventilation strategies. A single storey space accommodating dressing rooms, toilets, offices, teaching rooms, and the entrance foyer wraps around the three-storey auditorium.

The exposed timber connections required careful detailing, ensuring compliance with appropriate fire regulations and adequate load transfer without compromising aesthetics.

Completed 2019.

Project Information


Hurstpierpoint College


Burrell Foley Fischer

CLT Contractor





Dennis Gilbert