The Whitty Theatre, Luckley House School

Taking a leading role for school and community

A flexible, state-of-the-art school theatre and drama facility, including a series of dedicated specialist teaching spaces, was an aspiration that Luckley House School developed and refined over a long period of time. 

The location of the performing art building was chosen for its prominent position on the school site. The fully glazed foyer makes a bold statement on arrival, allowing views into the space, as well as great views out looking onto the historic house and picturesque woodland setting. 

“vHH have listened carefully to the brief and given me just the building I was hoping for, creating an auditorium and stage space that has warmth, intimacy and comfort, an impressive foyer which definitely provides a ‘wow’ factor, and a fabulous bonus with the spacious wardrobe maintenance area which started life as a drawing of a corridor!”

Judy Cordery, Head of Drama, Luckley House School

Read more

The building is formed of 3 distinct volumes, housing a 173 seat auditorium, a reception foyer, and an ancillary block containing offices, classrooms, storage for costumes and props, green room, back of house spaces, and plant. The theatre adopts a sensitive approach to its natural and built surroundings, with a simple contemporary form that uses familiar materials to differentiate the 3 elements of the building: the foyer, glassy and transparent, the lower ancillary block, clad in painted timber weatherboarding, and the main volume of the auditorium in brick.

“Our vision with regard to external use (of the theatre)was to balance events which contribute to marketing the school by raising our profile and reputation in the local area but may raise less revenue with purely commercial events to generate income. Two years on the bookings have far exceeded our expectations. We have not had to incur any costs on marketing the premises as we have more enquiries that we can manage. School numbers are rising rapidly and we know that the theatre has been a very significant contributor to the growth.”

Norman Patterson, Bursar, Luckley House School

  • Project Details

    • Location: Wokingham
      Client: Luckley House School
      Area: 985 m2
  • Project Awards

    • Winner - Architect's Choice Award: Brick Awards

The brick selection is a bespoke mix for the project, using the same brick both internally and externally. The blend of brick colours were chosen to harmonise with the setting of the existing brick buildings and to create a warm and intimate setting for the auditorium space.


Internally the textured brick contributes to the intimate atmosphere as well as performing an important acoustic function. The project’s success was rewarded with a prestigious Brick Award for the design.

The angled stage walls were designed in collaboration with acoustician, Ramboll, and theatre consultant, Charcoalblue, to create an excellent acoustic space.