No drama as curtain goes up on Bristol Grammar Performing Art Centre

A stunning new performing arts centre being built at Bristol Grammar School has reached a key stage in construction with the steel frame to be erected in September this year.

The development at the high profile school, on the edge of important conservation areas, features a new build auditorium, with high level galleries on each side, a large foyer, a dance studio, scenery dock behind the stage area and associated plant and welfare facilities.  In addition, the scheme includes the complete refurbishment of existing adjoining class rooms and the existing, smaller school theatre into a dedicated music performance area.

The state of the art facilities will have a steel frame founded on deep mass concrete foundations.  A concrete roof will give excellent acoustic insulation and provide an ideal platform for photo voltaic panels to generate solar power.  The frame will be clad with a mix of high quality architectural materials, structural glass walls and natural stone.

Clarkebond engineers providing civil, structural and geo-environmental services on the project have overcome a number of challenges and developed a simple cost effective design satisfying all architectural aspirations.  A WW2 air raid shelter has been bridged over and retained as a teaching aid.  The substructure design accommodates the two meters of made ground placed many years ago to level the site and accommodates the 2 metre slope at the edge of this made ground without the need for retaining walls.  A seamless interface between the old and new buildings has also been developed.

An enabling works contract in Easter 2015 prepared the site by undertaking ground works and diverting below ground drainage and other services.  This prepared the way for construction starting in earnest as soon as the school broke up for the summer.  Demolition of unwanted structures is already complete as are most of the new foundations preparing the way for the steel frame to be erected in September. With careful planning all the construction work will be carried out on a self-contained site with a boundary hoarding and will not impact the normal daily routine and operation of the School in any way.

The project is scheduled for completion in summer 2016.

Engineers:  Clarkebond
Architects:  AWW
Property Consultant: Alder King
Project Managers: Deeley Freed