CGI by BDP Architects
CGI by BDP Architects

RNCM concert hall refurb on track

Specialist fit-out company Styles & Wood is nearing completion of the £7.1m refurbishment of the Royal Northern College of Music's auditorium.

The site on Oxford Road has seen more than 70 construction staff give 5,000 hours a month on the scheme, which involved 19 weeks of demolition and 515 tonnes of material cleared from the space.

The development has refurbished and extended the hall, building a cantilevered balcony to increase capacity to 750 people, alongside new dressing rooms, showers, formal learning spaces and backstage facilities.

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The finishes for the auditorium, including seating and lighting, will be fitted over the next two weeks. The refurbishment has also seen advanced technical facilities and an air-conditioning and heating system installed.

Students are expected to be able to use the hall from mid-October, with a VIP opening scheduled in November.

 RNCM concert hallThe project has been partly funded by a £2.8m grant from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, alongside a fundraising campaign undertaken by the RNCM.

Gideon Levene, head of projects at Styles & Wood, said: "The project for the RNCM is extremely high-spec, and presented some challenges as we had to work with the original structure and everything had to be designed to sit into the set framework. The architect has designed the space to make the building incumbent, and everything is to a high finish. Over the next two weeks, the finishing touches will be coming in, and the final quality of the space will become more apparent.

"We've spent the last three years moving into the education field, and have taken our previous specialty into colleges and universities. This is a new Styles & Wood, and we expect to announce more and more projects in the near future."

Professor Linda Merrick, principal of the RNCM, said: "The RNCM prides itself on offering the very best facilities, not only to aspiring young musicians from all over the world, but also to audiences who recognise the significant position the college holds as one of the UK's busiest and most diverse public performance venues."

BDP is the architect on the scheme.

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