DORFMAN, Royal National Theatre

I have been involved in this project for a few years, when the concept of 'seat boxes' first arose. These are boxes about 1 metre long, by the width of the row, that house two seats under the floor. These seats can then be raised up quickly and easily for a performance. The idea being to enable fast and easy turn rounds between daily use of a flat floor and the evening performance using a raked auditorium
In order to make this process less arduous for staff, I designed the seat boxes to be semi-automatic, so that the seats rise on gas-struts when released, and have automatic latches, releases and safety mechanisms.

The result is mechanically remeniscent of 'Mousetrap' - that old '70s family game, but has some inherent advantages over a manual system. It is also surprisingly compact.

As part of the package, I was required to design all the other seats in the space, including the UK's first Strapontin seats, which straddle the aisle when in use, but automatically fold up out of the way when vacated. these are small, but surprisingly comfortable for their size.

Seats manufactured by Race Furniture

Completion 2014