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View of the museum and London skyline Day time view of Darwin Centre Closeup of the gallery building

Arts and culture

From theatres to concert halls, galleries to museums, theme parks to television studios – buildings in the culture and arts arena have their own particular performance demands. Playing significant roles in society they also present immense design challenges related to visitor space, security and conservation.

We meet the unique and specific demands of each development in our bid to create worldclass centres.

Our building consultancy helps clients deliver stylish, functional buildings with optimal environmental, energy, financial and social performance.

For all developments, controlling initial capital costs and running costs is fundamental, especially as facilities tend to be services intensive with major demands on mechanical and electrical systems. For private sector developments, it is essential that the design is pitched carefully to stand out from competition in the marketplace.

Our building consultancy implements innovative systems for curtain walls, atrium spaces and skylight structures. Our acoustics experts work to reduce reverberation, noise and vibration intrusion. Achieving ideal energy efficiency is, of course, a must and we have the expertise and experience needed to provide low energy solutions. Our building consultancy has developed leading computer modelling software enabling us to design natural and artificial lighting and assist fire safety engineering in all spaces.

How we add value is demonstrated on these key projects:

Darwin Centre

We helped London’s Natural History Museum achieve leading-edge energy and carbon performance by using the building’s structural mass to stabilise its temperature. Lighting energy is minimised by using movement and daylight sensitive controls, while the inner structure is insulated from external temperatures by an atrium.

Greenwich National Maritime Museum

Our knowledge of aquifer thermal energy storage (ATES) and low energy, low carbon design is delivering a building that meets its heating and cooling needs using thermal energy stored underground. Believed to be the UK’s first refurbishment project using ATES, it will deliver long-term cost savings while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Newcastle Library

Following analysis from our own non-linear settlement software we provided an innovative foundation solution avoiding a costly delay that would have resulted from sinking new foundations. The project’s carbon footprint was reduced by cutting the amount of embodied carbon in the library. The structure was first designed as a concrete frame but we re-engineered it in steel to reduce costs. The building received a BREEAM rating of ‘very good’.

Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama

We designed the new concert hall to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating, providing natural ventilation and high grade insulation. The auditoria are fed fresh air from large plena beneath the terraced seating. This bottom-up method of cooling and heating is efficient as air is supplied directly to the audience without the mixing that would occur from high level supply, so less cooling is required. It also allows high volume, low velocity supply which is critical to maintaining the high acoustic quality of the space.

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