WongAvery Music Gallery, Trinity Hall College, Cambridge
Avery Court has been transformed by the addition of the WongAvery Music Gallery, a state-of-the-art musical recital and rehearsal space.
The 77m² stone-built rehearsal and recital space sits in the centre of Avery Court at the college’s central campus Trinity Hall, one of Cambridge University’s oldest colleges. It is named after the project’s primary funders, the family of the late college fellow Dennis Avery.
Working alongside Niall McLaughlin Architects, we provided M&E Engineering and Building Physics for this all-electric building, after initially helping to conduct a feasibility study .
The discreetly-serviced building provides stable conditions for long-term instrument storage in a characterful, daylit space. Composed of cubic forms, the new space is made of thin stone columns and beams, with the four different types of stone all sourced in the UK.
Our design implemented air source heat pumps, which are unobstrusively located underground in a Grade I listed courtyard, to reduce both the carbon footprint and the energy bills of the building. To provide the right thermal environment for the sensitive musical equipment, a close control HVAC with humidity control sits invisibly and silently in an acoustically-treated space, yet air enters the space quickly to ensure optimal air quality.
Opting for displacement ventilation, a slow-moving stream of fresh air from the floor displaces waste air, which is forced to the ceiling and then out of the room through exhaust panels.
Performances take place in the centre of the Greek cross shape. Bay windows at the ends of each arm provide additional audience seating and over the crossing, a glazed lantern floods the building with natural light. The acoustics have been designed to maximise reverberation times and the building allows for all the windows to open fully, allowing music to spill out into the court for outdoor receptions. Acoustic shutters are adjustable, allowing the reverberation time of the space to be tuned according to the number of musicians and audience members for each rehearsal or performance.
“It has been a huge pleasure to work alongside the consultant and construction team both during the design and the construction of this beautiful building. Although only one room, the vision to create this building inside an existing Cambridge court, whilst at the same time meeting the precise acoustic requirements of a music performance space, has been a very enjoyable journey (if challenging at times). It will be a jewel in the College’s estate for many years.” - Glen Sharp, Staff Fellow and Junior Bursar at Trinity Hall