Bramall Music Building
When designing a new music department for Birmingham University, Glenn Howells Architects faced the challenge of creating a new construction to fit in with the surrounding grade II listed buildings, whilst meeting contemporary standards of accommodation and acoustics.
The Bramall Music Building provides a home for the department of music, with a 450-seat auditorium, a domed rehearsal room, various studios, offices and teaching rooms. Rather than make a contemporary statement, Glenn Howells Architects opted to continue the series of ceremonial pavilions without seeking to exactly replicate the existing buildings. Speaking about the building, project architect Will Schofield commented “We had to exercise a bit of humility to try to sensitively interpret what’s there”. The result is a thoroughly modern building that reflects its historic setting.
Working in conjunction with the architect, Allgood created an ironmongery specification that was closely aligned to the design concept of the building; classically designed whilst meeting contemporary performance standards. The choice of FSB bronze door furniture throughout the public areas compliments the aesthetic of the interior but also links the building to the more traditional materials associated with the design of the existing buildings.
The architect wanted to extend the bronze aesthetic through to the mechanical hardware which provided a challenge as options are limited for fire rated mechanical hardware in a bronze finish. Allgood were able to apply the unique, Simulated Bronze (BF) finish to satin stainless steel hardware, continuing the bronze finish throughout the building. Not only did this complete the visual aesthetic but it meant that the hardware would meet all of the fire and building regulations.
In addition, Allgood provided electromagnetic hold open units, signage and door furniture to allow the main circulation doors through to the auditorium to be held open in pockets. This created a clean, architectural detail that provides clear opening widths for visitors to enter through.