Music Hall, Aberdeen
Civic Trust Awards
Level of Award
Local Authority Area
Information about this scheme
The Music Hall is an important part of Scotland’s cultural heritage which had reached a tipping point and was vital that they arrest further deterioration.
They struggled to provide the level of customer service expected by visitors due to the declining fabric of the building and significant access issues.
The brief was to revitalise and transform the Music Hall creating an inspirational environment for a new generation of artists and audiences: Improved customer experience, level access into and through the building; new, accessible reception; re- locate offices to ground floor; improve public circulation/wayfinding; upgrade stage/backstage facilities. A new creative learning studio and performance studio; improve sightlines, seating, staging, flooring, flexibility in auditorium. A major programme of essential repairs and upgrades of facilities. Upgrade, restore and conserve historic and architectural features throughout. Redefine, upgrade bar and kitchen; improve hospitality space, attract conference and events; improve flexibility of spaces supporting more diverse activities; reduce labour intensive operational functions. Upgrade energy efficiency, environmental control systems; introduce a BMS; improve ventilation.
The architect-led design team gathered information from original 1820s completion drawings, etchings of historic events, archive drawings and photographs, to analyse the building use altered through the ages, informing the approach to conservation work, which were specified in liaison with Historic Environment Scotland, replacing life- expired elements of the fabric using historically authentic materials and techniques while reflecting current best practice.
The most ambitious intervention was to excavate to create a new lower basement level, which has provided new community facilities Aberdeen Performing Arts managed the construction project, the fundraising campaign and community engagement programme on top of the day job (an arts charity running two other venues in Aberdeen).
The campaign was successful despite the challenges of the economic downturn and was funded from 5 public sector partners, 8 trusts and foundations, 19 business sponsors and contributing from their own reserves built up over 10 years.
Aberdeen Performing Arts
Gardiner and Theobald
Primary Use Class
Class D1g - Public Hall or Exhibition Centre