Brighton College Music School and Theatre

Brighton College was named UK School of the Year 2013 at the Independent Schools Awards. An impressive new Music School, complete with practice rooms and a recital hall, opened in 2015, and was the first phase of a larger performing arts centre that will complete in 2021 within a collection of Grade II-listed buildings designed by the renowned British architect, George Gilbert Scott.

Owing to the existing buildings on the site, Skelly & Couch developed a phasing plan which allows for services diversions, demolitions and a temporary re-routing of school circulation to the dining room.

Skelly & Couch’s site-wide energy masterplan gave recommendations for rationalisation to achieve energy savings and phased plant replacement and renewables. Mechanical ventilation has been designed to stringent acoustic criteria, while maintaining comfort. The firm made a significant contribution to the fire strategy, with technical advice on M&E services, resulting in a system which satisfies all stakeholders.

An analysis of energy strategy options led to the implementation of an open loop borehole installation designed to serve this development and future new buildings on the site. A new central plant room allows for existing buildings to benefit from renewable heat and an extensive daylight/solar analysis will ensure that glare and overheating are eliminated.

A detailed and integrated lighting design is at the core of the theatre infrastructure. Surveying of present installations included below ground drainage: existing and new run off are diverted to soakaway to reduce impact on local and public infrastructure. Skelly & Couch also re-planned site-wide electrical distribution to free up capacity for future buildings.

Cited by Brighton and Hove County Council as an exemplar in sustainable design, the EPC ‘A’-rated development has achieved a BREEAM sustainability rating of ‘Excellent’, with innovation credits for greywater reuse. The Music School is a 2017 Civic Trust Award winner (Commendation) and has been recognised with a ‘Public and Community’ Award by the Sussex Heritage Trust.

Following this successful project, Skelly & Couch was appointed to provide full M & E, environmental design and acoustics on a new £25 million Science and Sports Centre at Brighton College, which is currently in progress.

* Shortlisted for a 2017 RIBA South East Award.*