Snell Associates’ Garsington Opera pavilion is eclectic, lightweight, demountable and connects with its landscape setting

Concert Educational Featured Project Opera Outdoor Performance Performance Read Rehearsal Semi-Staged


Acoustician Bob Essert, director of Sound Space Design, concedes that performers are likely to be young with fairly lightweight voices, and that the repertoire will concentrate on smaller operatic works.

He also makes no promises to eliminate background noise, which is free to pass through large openings in the pavilion’s fabric: ‘The birds are what they are, the thunderstorms are what they are and the wind is what it is.’ But, with other design team members, he has worked hard to control room acoustics. ‘You need a bit of space for sound to develop and blend,’ says Anne Minors, principal designer at Anne Minors Performance, who worked out the sightlines.

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Felix Mara

Architects' Journal, 2011