Making an entrance: Birmingham Symphony Hall completes
14 April 2021
The extraordinary transformation of Birmingham Symphony Hall's front foyer has created a more welcoming experience for all of its audiences that can now enjoy hundreds of exciting free events and a vital education programme that reaches over 24,000 people every year.
Symphony Hall opened in 1991 in the International Convention Centre, sharing an entrance and many services. This arrangement constrained the Hall's identity whilst lack of front of house space discouraged any sense of public ownership. Despite a successful programme, the building was not used to its full capacity during the day, and lacked suitable spaces to serve audiences, artists and supporters in the evening. The state-of-the-art redevelopment supports a new vision for Symphony Hall, expanding its foyer spaces to grow and diversify its audience and enhance organisational resilience.
Pioneering in sustainable design and low-carbon engineering, we were appointed as environmental building services engineering consultants, providing M&E Engineering as well as Digital Engineering and BIM.
"As building services engineers, we at Max Fordham are proud to have played our part in designing the M&E strategies for the transformative development of Symphony Hall. The new facade and building systems produce a more sustainable, accessible and flexible space ready to accommodate a diverse range of events. The existing mechanical and electrical systems have been refurbished and expanded with improved control and energy efficiency. This includes upgraded heating and ventilation systems to create comfortable and healthy environments. A dynamic new low-energy lighting scheme enhances the new foyer, hosting rooms and performance area. We are excited to see the transformed Symphony Hall reopen and welcome audiences once again." - Mark Palmer, Senior Partner at Max Fordham LLP
For the first time, Birmingham’s world-renowned concert hall now boasts a dedicated entrance from Centenary Square – which itself is undergoing major redevelopment to provide a high-quality public realm within the second city.
Music is at the heart of the redeveloped public spaces in Birmingham's internationally renowned concert hall. Upon re-opening, the new state-of-the-art performance facilities - delivered with funds raised prior to the global pandemic - will offer local artists even more opportunities to make music as part of an exciting programme of free and affordable events and activities. You can see a time lapse here: