Bryanston School: The Tom Wheare Music School
This independent school places great emphasis on music, and its new Tom Wheare Music School has at its heart a 300-seat auditorium that plays host to public performances as well as in-house ones. Timber is used on most exposed surfaces to create a warm, inviting and acoustically appropriate environment.
American white oak flooring, wall and ceiling panels join with specially designed oak acoustic panels (backed with sound-absorptive material) that can be individually adjusted to improve acoustic performance in the space. Spruce glulam timber beams support the roof. The fixed seating is timber backed.
Elsewhere, sustainable Douglas fir has been used as framing for most windows and as part of the large integrated panels below the windows. There are other uses of timber framing and timber linings, and a corridor with glulam beams.
The judges praised the use of a single timber for most of the auditorium finishes and the care that had been taken with detailing. They were particularly impressed by the simple and effective design of the moveable acoustic panels which can be adjusted manually.
Location: Blandford Forum, Dorset
Architect: Hopkins Architects
Structural engineer: Expedition Engineering
Main contractor/builder: Midas
Timber structure: Crendon Timber Engineering
Timber windows: Input Joinery
Timber doors: Humphrey & Stretton
Other joinery: Gariff Construction
Environmental/M&E engineer: AECOM
Acoustic engineer: Gillieron Scott Acoustic Design
Client/owner: Bryanston School
Timber: Douglas fir, American white oak, spruce
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