Built as a riding arena in 1808, Brighton Dome is part of the Royal Pavilion Grade I listed estate. It was converted to a concert hall in the 1860s and renovated in the 1930s. With other specialists, we helped create a 21st century performance and conference space inside this protected Regency building.
Increased flexibility of use was essential and required improved sightlines, acoustics and access. The proscenium was widened, which involved removing approximately half the roof. A new, central opening in the listed Art Deco ceiling contributed to acoustic and ventilation systems.
The basement was extended to create a store for removable stalls seating; high ground water levels and the proximity of the existing structure made this work extremely sensitive.
To improve circulation between the auditorium and new foyer (once a library), we had to work round the building's original timber frame. In the foyer itself, existing Victorian walls were demolished and a cantilever balcony extended to provide a mezzanine bar with cloakroom underneath.
Brighton Dome is part of the Royal Pavilion Grade I listed estate. Built as a riding arena in 1808, it was converted to a concert hall in the 1860s. The latest programme of improvements has created a 21st century performance and conference space inside the Regency building.
Sensitive integration of new services was crucial, as the project involved a host of site restrictions and complex co-ordination between teams of specialists. Our solution minimized interference with the existing fabric of the building.
For improvements to acoustics, permission was granted for a 5m diameter opening to be made in the Art Deco ceiling, introduced during renovations in the 1930s. The new opening forms part of a pipe-free ventilation system, designed to avoid any reverberation or other acoustic effects. The original chimney ducts on the auditorium's perimeter proved suitable for risers.
Air handling plant is positioned on the roof, with fresh air entering the auditorium across the top of a new state-of-the-art control room. An external energy centre housing all other plant is located in the gardens at basement level.