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Sustainability Sessions: David Brownlow Theatre with Jonathan Tuckey Design

The Sustainability Sessions were a series of talks in 2021 devised to explore aspects of sustainability in the built environment. The first series celebrated projects that aim to reduce carbon emissions while giving existing buildings new life.


About the David Brownlow Theatre

I spoke Jonathan Tuckey about the new theatre in the grounds of Horris Hill school in south east England which is true to the practices's design commitment to ‘building on the built’, for which it has earned an international reputation. The theatre is a masterclass in repairing and enhancing with the new, sustainable building carefully crafted to sit in concert with the neighbouring buildings.

The design uses natural materials to create a passively ventilated theatre sited within the wooded setting of the campus. It is constructed of cross-laminated timber (CLT) frame chosen for its cost effectiveness and to reduce construction time on site; its specification has ensured a saving of 40 tonnes of CO2 compared to traditional blockwork. The theatre draws from its surroundings not by replication of the local vernacular, but by being consciously distinct in materiality and structure.

The team worked in close collaboration with Webb Yates Engineers.



Jonathan Tuckey is director and founder of Jonathan Tuckey Design. Before establishing his practice in 2000 Jonathan worked at David Chipperfield Architects and Fletcher Priest Architect. Having originally studied Anthropology, the varying ways spaces and places can be reused and remodelled has been a constant area of interest for Jonathan's practice and a recurring theme during his extensive teaching experience.


Photograph by Jim Stephenson

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