SSDA 2019: Royal Academy of Music

1 November 2019

Image: Ian Ritchie

Several innovative structural steelwork solutions were used in the redevelopment of the Royal Academy of Music’s Grade II-listed buildings.

Commendation: Royal Academy of Music, London
Architect: Ian Ritchie Architects
Structural engineer: WSP
Main contractor: Geoffrey Osborne
Client: Royal Academy of Music

The works, carried out on a site surrounded by operational buildings, included the replacement of the existing theatre superstructure, the addition of new cantilevered balcony seating, the introduction of a flytower, with main plant room above, an enlarged orchestra pit, insertion of new vertical circulation routes, and a box-in-box rooftop recital hall with its own glazed foyer.

A feature auditorium ceiling was introduced to provide a visual focus and to maximise the acoustic volume of the theatre. This ceiling is created with a system of downstand secondary, tertiary and quaternary beams faceted on plan and clad in curved timber. 

Above the redeveloped theatre, the opportunity was taken to add a new, partially exposed, steel-framed 100-seat flexible recital hall, entirely isolated acoustically – slab and walls – from the surrounding structure.

Produced by the BCSA and Steel for Life in association with Construction Manager

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