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Leeds College of Music set for revamp

Leeds College of Music set to revamp main performance space with rooftop extension, right in the heart of Leeds' Cultural Quarter

Posted by Rebecca Paddick | January 09, 2017 | Estates

Scheduled to commence works in May, the impressive extension will transform the conservatoire’s main performance space, The Venue, into a spectacular, flexible space for creativity. It is hoped that the development will not only improve the performance facilities on offer to students, but also revolutionise the audience experience and further attract high-profile professional artists. 

The contemporary design, which has been developed by innovative architects Group Ginger, promises to be a striking addition to the city’s architecture. The new space will be enclosed with a full perimeter glazed screen allowing visitors views across the city, whilst a glazed attic will be shaded by black and gold vertical louvres. 

Simon Baker from Group Ginger commented: “We approached the roof top extension as though we were completing the building and providing the penthouse accommodation that was missing from the original. We always look to celebrate the user and the activity in the space; it was important that this space expressed the creativity of the college students but also engaged with the surrounding city skyline. We like to think of it as though it could be a piano bar or lounge in New York.”

By improving the setting for the eclectic LCoM events programme, the new space will be a vibrant place for students to learn and develop as musicians

Due for completion by early September 2017, the impressive extension will create an enhanced audience experience at the conservatoire’s 350-seat venue. In addition to breathtaking city views, the new space will also incorporate an in-situ bar, catering facilities and state-of-the-art technical equipment. 

The 2,150 sq ft space will include breakout rooms and dedicated catering areas, in order to facilitate the conservatoire’s eclectic programme of performance, conferences and educational events. It will also be an area for young people to study at the weekend on LCoM’s Saturday Music School and Yorkshire Young Musicians provision.  The conservatoire aims to further attract top calibre, professional musicians to perform and give educational workshops as part of its distinguished Masterclass programme. The eclectic event schedule will reflect the conservatoire’s varied approach to teaching, including classical, jazz, folk, pop and new music. 

Principal and Managing Director of Leeds College of Music, Gerry Godley, said: “We want The Venue to be a key creative space within the rich arts and culture offering in Leeds. By improving the setting for the eclectic LCoM events programme, the new space will be a vibrant place for students to learn and develop as musicians. It will also provide a fantastic opportunity for music lovers across the city and beyond to see high calibre, innovative artists in a breathtaking venue.”

2017 will also see a £1.2M development of the Skyline Music Library at the Quarry Hill Skyline building, which will improve learning resources for LCoM students and open up its impressive facilities to the public. 

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