JO / 20.11.17 / SENT 09:35AM

Opening night finally arrived. How did it go?

MIKE / 20.11.17 / SENT 09:57AM

Spine-tingling.
Truly proud of the team.

Forging the future.
World-class acoustics.

Challenge accepted.

Since 1859, the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire has nurtured the talent of thousands of globally-renowned musicians. A world-class new home was needed to propel it into the digital age and empower it to build a future as rich as its history.

With arts funding becoming more limited, the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s role in training the world’s next great musicians and actors is more vital than ever, and so too was our expertise in this most complex of projects.

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Professional musicians have described the spaces as truly exceptional and a joy to play in.
Michael Whitcroft, Senior Associate
Challenge

Challenging bassline.

So often our work involves a huge amount of effort behind the scenes, but on this project it was brought to the forefront…With a building like the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, where functionality – and, of course, acoustic perfection – is so utterly paramount to its success, our work is integral in shaping every aspect from as early as the concept stage.

On this project our engineering expertise was thrown into the spotlight and has subsequently become one of the stars of the show.

  • Client: BCU
  • Architect: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Approach

The right key.

Learning all we could from existing exemplar facilities and venues, we stripped everything away, reconsidering the identity of each space from different perspectives (musical performance, fidelity and experiential).

We used a variety of solutions to ensure acoustic quality, reworking the building layout to push the highly critical sound spaces away from noisy roads. We also maximised building efficiency using the latest BIM technology to bring key stakeholders on board with our proposed designs, ensuring their visions were met.

Human Impact

A space that sings.

A building’s success is decided by those who use it – and the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire is already delighting students, teachers, and performers alike. Musicians have expressed the complete confidence they have in the recital hall space – claiming it faithfully translates even their most nuanced phrases to audiences.

The building will not only enrich the university experience for all students, but creates an internationally-renowned venue for Birmingham. Strengthening the region’s cultural offering, this magnificent building bolsters the city as a national centre for performing arts – and, if the first few months of opening are to go by, will become its musical heart.

Technical Impact

Performance today and tomorrow.

Inside the building, our high-performance internal walls have achieved incredible reductions of more than 90dB. The internal layout – as complex as a 3D puzzle – is a technical triumph: completely independent steel-frame box-in-box spaces straddle other box-in-boxes with dense inner-core floors and walls plus wide-cavity independent outer shell walls.

The result is the ability to use all venues simultaneously – achieving the university’s key requirement for no limitation on potential programming in the years to come.

Ultimately, it's a building that should create a legacy even bigger than itself.
Key Figures
500 Seat concert hall
5 Storeys
70+ Practice and teaching rooms
1st Individual UK music college since '87

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Our new home will become the central hub of all of our crucial activities.
Professor Julian Lloyd Webber

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