Cedars Hall and Music Centre, Wells Cathedral School

▷ Year: 2017
▷ Location: Wells, UK
▷ Client: Wells cathedral school
▷ Architect: Eric Parry Architects

The brief for the Cedars Hall described a 300 seat recital hall of extremely high acoustic quality for orchestras and choirs, drama, amplified music, conference and school assembly with intermediate settings for music rehearsal and recording, using a fixed sound system and dance and banqueting space. It should create a worldwide reputation for acoustic excellence. GS Acoustic Design Consultants proposed the use of adaptable absorptive/reflective wall panels, or Varisorbers and curtains so that the occupied reverberation time could be varied between 1.8 seconds and around 1 second at mid frequencies. The internal noise level was set very low at NR15.

Large diffusing elements were located in the ceiling and the orchestral wall.
Computer modelling predicted a room of very high quality for all its uses.

“The Eavis Hall opens into a warm and embracing space having, as it does, a superb natural acoustic. An upper gallery adds the all-important extra dimension. The whole is surrounded by lawns and everyone involved in the design, construction, execution and management of this wonderful addition is to be congratulated.”
Christian Blackshaw MBE, piano master

The Eavis Hall has hosted a variety of musicians including jazz artists Clare Teal and Claire Martin, finger guitarist Mike Dawes and pianists Mitsuko Uchida and Stephen Hough. In addition to music, Cedars Hall has a varied programme, which includes lectures, art exhibitions, comedy shows and drama productions. Previous performances include Patricia Routledge, Simon Singh and Vikki Stone. BBC Radio 3 has broadcast two series of concerts from Cedars Hall: Towards the Revolution and Four Cities.

Awards: RIBA South West Award 2017 and RIBA South West Building of the Year