The Fanfare Balcony
March 26, 2018
Tales from the Theatrical Woods, Chapter 24
Despite snow, ice and downpours the brickwork outer wall of the auditorium has reached the height of the tricky bits. It was with great relief that the bricks forming the projecting diamond pattern met at intersections precisely as intended as the bricklaying advanced up the auditorium façade. We should never have doubted Stewart’s meticulous setting out.
Now set within the brickwork following the Bayreuth precedent is the central fanfare balcony where trumpeters will trumpet to alert diners and picnickers to the resumption of performances, and, at the same level, on either side of the auditorium, we now have two windows. The windows allow views across the woodland and the fields beyond, let daylight into the auditorium and just may, one day, provide access to a tree walk winding through the tree tops of the adjacent woodland. The windows will, of course, have internal shutters to prevent unwanted distraction during performances.
The balcony encapsulates in microcosm a recurrent Grange Park design trope, the setting off of something new with something old or found. Wasfi rescued the cast iron balustrades from some cobwebbed vault of an architectural salvage company – alright eBay – and they now find a new life raised in height and incorporated into an elegant crisp balcony commanding views across the orchards and gardens of the manor house.
The Rotundum is now water tight.
David Lloyd Jones, Consultant architect
26 March 2018