Royal Academy of Music Theatre and new Recital Hall

  • © Adam Scott
  • © Adam Scott
  • © Adam Scott
  • © Adam Scott
  • © Adam Scott
  • © Adam Scott
  • © Adam Scott
  • © Adam Scott
  • © Adam Scott
  • © Adam Scott
  • © Adam Scott
  • © Adam Scott
  • © Adam Scott
  • © Adam Scott
  • © Adam Scott
  • © Adam Scott
  • © Adam Scott
  • © Adam Scott
  • © Adam Scott
  • © Adam Scott

Application Type

Civic Trust Awards

Level of Award

Award

Region

Greater London

Local Authority Area

Westminster

Information about this scheme

This project provides a Theatre for students and the public’s enjoyment of performances, while delivering the ambiance, aesthetics and environmental credentials befitting the Academy’s status as one of the world’s premiere musical academies. In addition, a new 100-seat Recital Hall suitable for professional recording has also been developed. Within the boundary walls, the Theatre incorporates 40% more seating than previously through the addition of a balcony, a larger orchestra pit, stage wing and fly tower. All seats offer excellent sightlines to the stage, while the larger orchestra pit expands repertoire choice from early to modern opera and musical theatre. Above the Theatre, and acoustically isolated from it and all other buildings, the Recital Hall is entirely lined in pale, lime-washed oak. The Recital Hall has a footprint as large as that of the main stage, providing an ideal rehearsal space. An oculus floods the room with daylight and provides the space with a central focus. Accessed primarily from the Main Stair, the new glazed lobby enhances the Academy’s circulation routes, creating a visual and physical link between the old and new buildings. The new light well reveals the previously concealed Grade II rear façade, in which bricked-up windows have been reopened, improving the ambience of many practice rooms. In addition to providing access to the Recital Hall, the introduction of a new glazed lift means that the Theatre is now fully accessible, connecting the new Theatre Lobby on the Ground Floor with both the Stalls and Balcony levels. Taking inspiration from the curved shape of string instruments, their construction, tuning mechanisms, tension and tone. The Theatre space is both intimate and epic and the Recital Hall a tranquil, visually cool space. Externally the new additions are clad in pre-patinated grey-blue copper, imperceptible from street level and blending with the sky when seen from adjacent properties. The project was unusually complex due to the very constrained site into which new volumes with their myriad functions were to be introduced. Prefabrication was key to the success. A very collaborative design team enabled successful integration of architectural and theatrical/musical requirements with structural, acoustic, safety, mechanical and electrical systems.

Credits

Client

Royal Academy of Music

Architect

Ian Ritchie Architects Ltd

Quantity Surveyor

Equals Consulting

Conservation Architect

Donald Insall Associates

Structural Engineer

WSP

Services Engineer

Atelier Ten

Main Contractor

Geoffrey Osborne Ltd

Project Manager

RISE

Access Consultant

Centre for Accessible Environments

Acoustic Engineer

Arup Acoustics

Theatre Consultant

Fisher Dachs Associates

Lighting Consultant

Ulrike Brandi Licht

Fire Engineering

WSP Fire

Approved Building Control Inspector

AIS

Primary Use Class

Class D1c - Education