The ’Shed’

For both acoustic and environmental reasons Troldtekt acoustic panels were installed throughout The Shed, a temporary venue for London’s famous National Theatre on the South Bank of the River Thames.

The temporary theatre, with its dramatic simple form and bright red colour, was conceived by architects Haworth Tompkins in collaboration with theatre consultants Charcoalblue.

“We talked about an empty space for total flexibility; then Charcoalblue came up with a model of a perfect little octagonal theatre with a gallery and everyone fell in love with it,” said Paddy Dillon, Associate Director of Haworth Tompkins.

The result was a space designed to be as low-energy, sustainable and recyclable as possible, in recognition of its one-year lifespan. This highly innovative sustainable approach to the design made use of natural ventilation, LED theatre lighting fixtures, stage floor and galleries constructed from reusable modular panels and seating borrowed from the Cottesloe Theatre itself.

The Shed housed a 225 seat auditorium made of raw teel and plywood. Its modelling together with its red rough sawn timber cladding both echoed and contrasted with the bold board-marked concrete and geometry which denoted the exterior of the National Theatre itself.

Like all theatres, good acoustics was a major consideration. Here, the most effective solution for the NT Future redevelopment was the installation of 1,100 sqm FSC® certified Troldtekt acoustic panels with ultrafine structure.

The Shed operated throughout the Cottesloe’s refurbishment but was dismantled following its reopening (as the Dorfman Theatre).


The Shed in London, UK
Haworth Tompkins
National Theatre
Troldtekt Products
Ceiling panels:
Troldtekt acoustic panels
Painted black in situ
Ultrafine (1.0 mm wood wool)
Edge design:
Square edges, K0, installed with Troldtekt screws
Text & Fotos
Christopher Sykes, Pressential LLP
Philip Vile


Blueprint Best Sustainable Project Award,
Chicago Athenaeum International Architectural Award,
RIBA London Regional Award,
AIA UK Excellence in Design Award,
Architizer A+ Award,
Civic Trust Pro Tem Special Award,
Civic Trust Award,
Peter Brook Award,
German Design Award: Gold,
New London Award: The Temporary