Based in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, The College of Piping has developed a world-class reputation as an international school of excellence in Highland bag piping, Scottish-style drumming, fiddling, Highland dancing and Island step dancing with a mandate to preserve and promote the Celtic heritage of Canada’s most Celtic province, Prince Edward Island. In 2017, the College engaged Nine Yards Studio to design a more permanent theater facility for the many world-class shows they host seasonally.
The new theater hosts 297 seats, a lobby/reception area, practice rooms, recording studios, change rooms, dance hall and tuning rooms. Essential to the design was integrating the new theater with the existing College of Piping Facility and harmonizing the scale of a new theater on a tight site in a well known community landmark.
The Theater features a large scale suspended wood grid-shell created by a lattice of bent and interconnected timber laths. The grid-shell was inspired by the traditional celtic knot, which provides warmth, absorption and theatrics to the space while concealing the catwalks and mechanical/electrical services running overhead. Custom wood slat absorption panels and acoustic ceiling and wall reflectors direct and regulate sound carefully. A key component to the theater design was providing flexibility for a wide range of different performances and rental space for events – including the option for natural light or black-out, various viewing platforms at different levels and a range of different seating options and locations.