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Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama

New performance spaces for the RWCMD.

Opened July 2011

The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama is Wales’ national conservatoire. The winning design of an international design competition, the project includes three performance and rehearsal spaces, teaching rooms, studios and library facilities and is set in a Grade I listed Royal Park.

The design focused on the core needs of the school community, namely an acoustically magnificent collection of performance and learning spaces which encourage and motivate the buildings’ occupants.
Designed from the outside in, each performance space is conceived as a separate building. The drama building forms a new façade and the recital hall sits amongst the woods adjacent to the existing building. These elements are unified by a single floating roof. The new entrance to the college opens out on to stunning views over Bute Park and an arcade forms a new spine linking the whole functioning as exhibition space for the Design & Costume Department, whilst doubling as the ‘lungs’ for the scheme as its natural stack effect ventilates the public spaces.

The building achieved BREEAM ‘Excellent’.

Client: Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama
BFLS team: Jason Flanagan, Paul Bavister, Jason Sandy, Anne Heucke, Kibwe Tavares, Armando Elias
Acoustic Engineer: Arup Acoustics, Ian knowles
Structural & Services Engineer: Mott MacDonald
Lighting Consultant: Equation Lighting
Theatre Consultant: Theatre Projects Consultants
Cost Consultant: Davis Langdon

Photography by Nick Gutteridge and Joe Clarke.