Garden of Reflection Performance Space, Astley Hall Walled Garden, Chorley, Lancashire

Calls Architecture were invited by Chorley Borough Council to a design competition for a performance space in the grounds of the Grade I listed Astley Hall. 

The brief called for a covered performance stage to accommodate events and performances, engage the local community and nurture public understanding and awareness of issues affecting the armed forces community.

The performance structure is conceived as a floating canopy over a contemplation wing and brick plinth.

The brick plinth roots the structure to the context, reflecting the historic garden walls, whilst the weathering steel structure above forms a contemporary cantilevered canopy for performance and shelter. The simple form and material choice compliment the garden setting, remaining subservient to the surrounding buildings and garden walls.

To the side of the stage is a seating space for contemplation, acting as an informal stage wing during performance. The seating space is part enclosed by laser cut weathering steel sheet panels, bearing the mottos of the Armed Forces, inviting contemplation, reflection and remembrance.

The concept considers the form, function and circulation areas of the existing park, in particular, the relationship of spaces and uses of the courtyard, outbuildings and house. The siting options look at past and present layouts in considering suitable locations for the structure.