BAFTA Headquarters

Date Complete 2021
Location UK England
Client British Academy of Film and Television Arts
Architect Benedetti Architects

Project summary

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) are undertaking comprehensive improvements and expansion of their Grade II Listed headquarters at 195 Piccadilly. The expansion includes a new top floor by restoring, raising and re-integrating two large Victorian rooflight spaces from the original 1883 galleries of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours. The facilities include cinema theatres, banqueting hall, multipurpose event and exhibition spaces, members’ bars, restaurant & club, roof terraces, meeting rooms and staff offices.

As well as expanding its capacity and installing state-of-the-art technology throughout the building, the redevelopment will provide BAFTA with a dedicated learning space for the very first time to support new talent, both in the UK and globally. Reopening in 2021, 195 Piccadilly will be a world-class centre for new talent and will enhance BAFTA’s international identity as a centre of excellence for motion picture arts and games.

Detailed design

Sandy Brown have advised on all acoustic aspects throughout the development. The reconfiguration presents a number of challenges relating to acoustic separation between rooms. We conducted benchmark measurements in all of the existing rooms and provided advice to optimise the acoustic performance within the constraints of the existing listed building. The brief for the cinema theatre is to provide the highest quality screening facility in London and the acoustic design is an integral part of this.

Our detailed design included specification of acoustic finishes to comply with Dolby/THX reverberation time requirements. These spaces were computer modelled to verify the reverberation times would be within the strict ranges specified by Dolby. We have conducted detailed acoustic designs for the Princess Anne Theatre and the new Run Run Shaw theatre. The Run Run Shaw is linked to a multi-use space and incorporates moveable walls for flexible use which required careful acoustic design.

Our acoustic advice covered controlling noise transfer within the building and noise egress to external areas and non-BAFTA areas within the building. Our design included mechanical services noise and vibration control measures incorporated to meet the low noise Dolby requirements in the cinemas and other areas.