Blog: SECBE Awards 2022 finalist - Reading Rep Theatre

27 April 2022

Project of the Year under 10m sponsored by Hill Dickinson

Reading Rep Theatre (submitted by Fuse Architects)

Building Project of the Year under £10m SECBE Award 2022 finalist

Reading Rep Theatre is a small, but critically acclaimed, producing and receiving house in the grounds of Reading College. Started in 2012 as a simple black box theatre with a vision to revitalise Reading’s cultural landscape by making and creating the highest quality theatre, with, by and for Reading. It quickly grew in popularity and with critical acclaim and sell-out success, Reading Rep was ready for a new and permanent home. In 2018, they began raising funds to convert a former Salvation Army Hall (on the Reading College site) into a permanent theatre and cultural hub.

This project converts the hall (recently used by the college as a music rehearsal studio) into a 163 seat auditorium with retractable seating so the space can be used for a variety of functions. The auditorium has been carefully designed to work with the existing space alongside an interval bar, ancillary accommodation and rehearsal space.

The collaboration philosophy started with the client who worked closely with the design team and contractor to communicate their vision, passion, and commitment to the project. This was invaluable in fostering a culture, within the design team and on-site, of being part of a special process, delivering a theatre ‘punching above its weight’ in terms of quality and size.

The project progressed over a number of years as funds were raised so the design and specification could be expanded and improved. The design team worked closely with the client to make every penny count and deliver the maximum return for the limited budget.

The theatre opened to widespread enthusiasm and support in September 2021.

Key achievements:

  • Working with a limited budget we delivered an outstanding, high quality, local theatre.

  • The design team worked with the building with limited structural changes to increase sustainability, reduce waste and celebrate the history of the building.

  • Reading Rep theatre shows what can be done with passion, determination, and commitment to delivering the best you can. Reading rep shows what it is like to love what you do.


Client: Reading Rep Theatre

Project Partners: Fuse Architects, Theatre Consultant - Drama By Design, Main contractor - Total Projects


Find out who wins at the Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards 2022 Ceremony on Thurs 30th June 2022.


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About the Building Project of the Year over £10m Award (sponsored by  Hill Dickinson) 

Project of the Year delivers outstanding outcomes for all those involved in a construction project.  It showcases the benefits achieved through the application of many of the principles described in the other award categories. More info.

>> Find out more about the other Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards finalists here

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