Repton School Theatre

Lead DesignerBryan Avery
Prize(s)2nd Place in Other Architectural Designs / Other Architectural designs
Entry Description

Architects have long sought to understand what makes one shape more pleasing than another. The Square, the double square and the golden rectangle have stubbornly re-surfaced in treatises of aesthetics since the time of Plato.

Also, throughout history, artists, architects, scientists and philosophers have endeavoured to rationalise the human form, to understand the measurements of the body in relation to natural and geometric systems.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man (1490) is perhaps the most recognizable of the visualisations, depicting Vitruvius’ ideas about the proportions of the human body and the relationships between man, nature, geometry and architecture. Much later, in 1946, Le Corbusier created the Modular as “a harmonious measure to the human scale, universally applicable to architecture and mechanics.”

The original competition brief called for a new two storey glazed foyer to be attached to the front of the existing hall. Avery Associates however suggested a more straightforward option, positioning the foyer to the side as a separate, single storey structure.

As a result, the existing facade remains untouched, the circulation is greatly improved and all the facilities can be used independently or together. It was also cheaper.

The new foyer has been set at an angle to reflect the picturesque irregularity of the context and the diagonal lines-of-sight linking the Chapel with the Arch entrance.

This angle then translates into a planning grid as a rhythm of equilateral triangles based on a side width of 1.65m, the dimension from the floor to the eye level of the architect.

This dimension, doubled, (3.3m) is the ceiling height and the proportion of 3.3/1.65 (a 2/1 ratio) is the size of every glass panel. In this way the floor, ceiling and walls are coordinated by a unifying geometry relating directly to the human scale and giving the foyer an elegant serenity.


Avery Associates Architects was created as an innovative design practice wherein the whole range of built-world issues could be explored and developed.

This has led to the development of a philosophy, an attitude to the built-world that underpins the work of the practice and informs every project. It is this, plus the lateral thinking capability that results from our research initiatives, that generates the creative impetus and commitment that makes the work of the practice so very distinctive.

We have a great depth of experience, from city master planning to product design and signage. We have experience too of a wide range of building types from commercial and residential buildings, leisure, retail and museums. Our client list is equally diverse, including commercial developers, government organisations, national institutes, universities and charitable trusts.

Our approach is to work openly and in close collaboration with our clients. This, we find, yields the very best results.

The practice has won many awards for its work and has been extensively published both in this country and abroad. Above all we pride ourselves on our professionalism and the close and enduring relationships that we have developed with so many of our clients.