Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Client Birmingham City University

Sector Higher Education

Location West Midlands

Value £57m

One of the most technically demanding construction projects in the country, the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire represents the first building of its type to be built within the UK in the past 30 years.

Part of Birmingham City University, the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire is a state-of-the-art facility set to become one of the most prestigious centres of excellence for music teaching throughout the country.

The building itself encompasses five new public performance spaces, including a 500-seat concert hall, a 150-seat recital hall and a 100-seat organ studio. There are more than 70 teaching rooms, as well as The Lab, a cutting-edge, completely flexible black-box studio, and the first permanent jazz space in any UK conservatoire – the 80-seat Eastside Jazz Club.

Designed by leading architects FCB Studios, the building encompasses a staggeringly complex design, utilising steel frames within steel frames to create boxes within boxes, which are able to achieve the very highest standards of acoustic performance.

As would be expected, the building includes a complex arrangement of mechanical and electrical services, which presented a key challenge when designed and installing the systems, while maintaining the isolation of the room boxes.

The building makes the most of natural materials throughout, both assisting with the acoustics as well as creating a stunning internal environment.

The Conservatoire has rightly been recognised, winning both regional and national awards at the RIBA and RICS awards, as well as being shortlisted as project of the year for Construction News and the Building Awards.