Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury near London, United Kingdom

Customer Project

Structural Engineering pbb Planung und Projektsteuerung GmbH
Ingolstadt, Germany
Construction Timber Construction, Project Management
Finnforest Merk GmbH
Aichach, Germany
Architecture Arts Team of RHWL Architects
London, UK
Investor Aylesbury Vale District Council
Aylesbury, UK

Length: 84 m | Width: 39 m | Height: 16 m | Weight: approx. 100 t
Number of Nodes: 983 | Members: 1,703 | Materials: 4 | Cross-Sections: 223

In October 2010, the Waterside Theatre opened its doors in Aylesbury near London. The town's new emblem mirrors in its floor plan and roof structure the shape of the "Chiltern Hills" in South East England.

The bar-shaped timber columns in the inside and outside area refer to the depths of the forest. The facade construction whose supporting structure is external, which means that the building's envelope is actually built inside (reversed facade), describes a floor plan having the shape of a peanut with six different radii of curvature.

As the basement and the edge of the roof are running wavelike around the building, each column is unique.

Timber Construction

The timber construction company Finnforest Merk in Aichach, Germany, was in charge of the design for the specially manufactured timber-glass facade, the acoustic ceiling and roof elements as well as the exposed columns made of larch glued‑laminated timber.

The German engineering office pbb GmbH in Ingolstadt was responsible for the structural analysis and planning of the timber structure. The team developed standard connections with special modifications for respective situations in order to meet for example the requirements of the architects who wanted the timber connections to be covered as far as possible.

Analysis in RSTAB

The model was entered in Tekla Structures and exported to RSTAB by using the direct interface.

RSTAB calculated the roof structure and the timber facade construction consisting of more than 1,700 members.

The applied wind loads were quite elaborated because of the free form structure that is reinforced by external ribs. Furthermore, the vertical loads from the roof structure as well as the restraining end moment from the cantilevering roof which may overhang up to 3 m had to be applied to the column head.

Program Used for Structural Analysis

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