Royal Academy of Music – New Theatre & Recital Hall

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The refurbished theatre is accessed via a separate lobby with stairs leading to underground practice rooms and the different seating levels in the main auditorium. Two major functions – practice and performance – are spread over various levels and unite in the theatre studio on the roof. So does the lighting scheme by acknowledging the dignified festive character and at the same time adding an inspiring fresh touch.

The atmosphere of the main auditorium is set by cherry wood surfaces. Its main feature is a chandelier of crystals suspended on glass fibres over the whole auditorium ceiling. On the surrounding walls small recessed coves house more crystal drops and are part of the chandelier. Their warm, brilliant and festive light embraces the auditorium and is the main light source for visitors before and after performances. The lights are powered by fibre optic light generators places at the flight tower for easy access.
This festive theme is guiding the visitor all the way up from the theatre’s lobby. In the lobby and stair cases wall mounted LED fixtures cast their light through large glass lenses bridging the gap between the existing fabric and new.
From time to time visitors can cast a view into practice rooms of the main building. First thing they notice will be a new lighting design by introducing suspended panel lights with a fresh material colour to create a concentrated and generous atmosphere for teaching situations. Random in order and surprising in material colour this fresh and adventurous scheme continued in the lower level practice rooms that don’t have access to daylight. The lighting scheme acknowledges specific visual demands of professional musicians – reading notes at varying distances and a contrast in brightness between sheets of music and surrounding vertical surfaces. Lighting levels are raised and the brightness ratio between horizontal and vertical room surfaces is leveled out by adding an indirect component to the even distribution of light.
The theatre studio at the roof offers a multifunctional usage. Remote controllable track fixtures allow various performance situations. A large suspended ring fixture is a quotation to the roof light bringing down the light to create an intimate atmosphere. On top of the ring, small spotlights shine back to the ceiling. They produce small brilliant areas of light referring back to the crystals used in the auditorium.

Auftraggeber: Royal Academy of Music
Architekten: Ian Ritchie Architects
Lichtplanung: Ulrike Brandi Licht
Fertigstellung: 2018

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