Flanagan Lawrence incorporates two world firsts at its RIAS Award-winning Laidlaw Music Centre – a fully mechanised floor and a reverberation chamber
RIBA National Award winner 2023
2023 RIAS Award winner
Laidlaw Music Centre, University of St Andrews, Fife
Flanagan Lawrence for University of St Andrews
Contract value: £12.5m
Cost per m2: £7,548
The University of St Andrews Laidlaw Music Centre caters for professional, student and community users alike. It is a considerate and well composed addition to the city’s ancient centre, complementing its listed neighbours. The plan meaningfully connects to the streetscape and the east elevation steps smartly in response to mature tree canopies.
Close up, the building exhibits an unexpected and appealing informality: musical instruments are visibly stored along a glazed edge of the ground floor, a balcony over the entrance provides for ad hoc outdoor performances towards the newly defined quad below.
Alongside the suite of rehearsal and practice spaces contained within the building, the main performance space – the McPherson Recital Room – incorporates two world firsts for a chamber hall: a fully mechanised floor beneath it and a reverberation chamber above. These innovations allow the space to be tuneable both spatially and acoustically. The result of the latter, as demonstrated on the day of our visit by university director of music, and cellist, Michael Downes, is glorious.
To find out more about the whole RIBA Awards process visit architecture.com
Cost consultant: Turner and Townsend
Structural engineer: Will Rudd
M&E engineer: WSP
Project manager: Gleeds
Acoustics and venues: Idibri