Gresham’s School’s Britten Building, named after former pupil Sir Benjamin Britten, provides state of the art teaching and performance facilities for the school’s music centre and sixth form. The initial brief was to provide a new music building for a school with an excellent music department but outdated facilities. The minimum requirements included a 150-seat flexible auditorium for rehearsals and recitals, a professional standard recording suite, music classrooms of various sizes, a suite of sixth form teaching rooms and a variety of small rooms for peripatetic teaching, individual and small group practice. The building was to complement the adjoining Auden Theatre, which is used both by the school and community and is the principal performance space for the Holt Arts Festival.
Adrian James Acoustics worked with the school and design team from inception of the project, discussing the requirements and aspirations of teaching staff and students to develop a clear operational brief that all parties understood and which then formed the basis for the technical architectural, engineering and acoustic brief for every part of the building.
The design team and contractor delivered a high quality and high performance building on very limited budget. We provided a building whose acoustic performance exceeded the client’s expectations through continuous input to the scheme from inception up until occupation.
At the opening, the Head of Music (an ex-professional singer familiar with many studios and music colleges) stated “This is the most flexible music recital room that I have ever worked in, and the practice and teaching rooms are the best out of any school or music conservatoire that I know”.
The Britten Building was awarded “Highly Commended” in the education buildings category of the Association of Noise Consultants 2017 acoustic awards. Judges commented that they “… were impressed by the detailing and high standards of acoustic design, and the on-site inspections and discussions held at an early stage to understand the requirements and aspirations of the teaching staff and students.”
Client : Gresham’s School
Architect : LSI Architects
Contractor: Kier Eastern
Contract value : £14m