The Colyer-Fergusson Music Building is The University of Kent’s new £8.2million music facility, a multi-purpose music centre, with a music hall for rehearsal and performance, practice rooms, offices and a convivial foyer.
Arup, in collaboration with Tim Ronalds Architects, provided full acoustic design services for the venue, which has been designed to accommodate performances of various scales and arrangements – rehearsal, small scale ensembles, and events with large audiences.
Located at the university’s Canterbury Campus, the facility will provide 15,000 students and staff with first-class music provisions and adjoins the University’s existing theatre and cinema spaces with the shared foyer.
The concert hall itself is designed to be a flexible space, incorporating retractable seating at both ends, so that it can accommodate any production - from a flat floor exhibition to a performance by an 80 piece orchestra and 200 strong choir. The building also contains two large and two small practice rooms, and an amplified band room - all of which are floating ‘box-in-box’ spaces to provide significant sound insulation.
Sound absorbing drapes may be deployed around the entire upper wall surface to tailor the room acoustic for any use. Different room acoustic modes were simulated and demonstrated to the University in the Arup Soundlab.
The new facility, which aims to be the finest concert hall of its scale in Kent, is the result of a generous donation from Sir James Colyer-Fergusson and the Colyer-Fergusson Charitable Trust, which funds churches and charities throughout the county of Kent.