Eton College School Hall

Eton College, Eton, Berkshire, UK


The School Hall at Eton College (together with the adjoining Library) was originally built in the early 1900s to commemorate the 192 Old Etonians who died in the South African War of 1899-1902. Much of the splendour of the buildings is testament to the vision of then Headmaster Edmond Warre, who commissioned the architect, Laurence Hall, to design the building and the leading architectural sculptor, Abraham Broadbent, to craft the intricate swags and decorative stone fruit which adorn the outside. The buildings were opened in November 1908 by King Edward VII.

With its vast open space, high ceilings and stone columns, the Hall is used for assemblies, concerts (and even examinations). However, after more than a century, the building had seen better days and Hopkins Architects were commissioned to repair and upgrade the building and turn into a high-quality performance venue. The project that has been extremely generously supported by the Salata Family Foundation. 





The refurbishment scheme combines combine improved acoustics (by Threshold Acoustics), removal of asbestos and the replacement of the original plaster ceiling, insulation to the roof and secondary glazing, comfortable raked seating for 500 people (specially designed and supplied by Luke Hughes & Company), new lighting and environmental systems, plentiful bathroom facilities and excellent AV facilities. An innovative lift system allows the raked floor to be levelled, the furniture to be dropped to the basement and packed away underneath, leaving a flat-floor space for dances, exams and other events.  




The furniture comprises, for the ground floor, a range of fully-upholstered bench seats made in European oak, with an ingenious quick-release brass floor fixing. The front rows are curved, presenting a daunting challenge to the designers and makers, not least since the shapes must  allow for both the raked floor and the resulting compound curvature. 

The rear gallery is furnished with our standard Charterhouse benches, also in European oak; and the choir can now be seated under the organ (which has also been restored) at the front of the building on upholstered tiered seating, also on varying radii.

This seating project adds to the extensive Luke Hughes & Company portfolio of auditorium furniture, which go back for thirty years and included, the Queen's Building at Emmanuel College (1994) the Cattle Market ‘Apex Theatre’ in Bury St Edmunds (both with Hopkins Architects), the Grade 1-listed Georgian Theatre Royal, also in Bury St Edmunds (2007), the Leggate Lecture Theatre for Liverpool University (2008), the prayer hall at Temple Israel in New York (2023), the Speech Room at Harrow School (2023).


Salata and Harvard

Eton School Hall

Charcoal Blue


Threshold Acoustics







Photos: courtesy of Luke Hughes

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