Riverside Studios

Date Complete 2020
Location UK England
Client Riverside Trust
Architect Assael Architecture, Flanagan Lawrence & Fourpoint Architects

Project summary

Riverside Studios is a state of the art media and performing arts centre located on the banks of the Thames, overlooking the historic Hammersmith Bridge. Re-opened in January 2020 following a five year closure for redevelopment, the venue functions as a multi-studio complex set within a vibrant mixed-use development, including 165 residential apartments.
Previously home to a number of national television and theatre productions, the space now comprises three large purpose-built production studios (450, 400 and 190 seats respectively), a 200-seat cinema, screening room, rehearsal space, technical areas as well as a new riverside restaurant and cafe/bar.
Sandy Brown was appointed to advise on the base-building design via Mount Anvil, and for the fit-out for Riverside Trust from concept through to completion.

Detailed design

The main challenge was to achieve exceptionally high levels of sound insulation between the studios/cinema and the residential apartments located directly above and adjacent. This was achieved by fully isolating the three studios and cinema with concrete box-in-box structures on elastomeric bearings.

Sandy Brown provided extensive input into the mechanical services design throughout the project to achieve suitably low background noise levels in the production spaces, as well as maintaining the sound insulation and isolation of the box-in-box structures.

The studios are acoustically separated from the scene dock by high-performance electrically operated sliding acoustic doors with a further set of external sliding acoustic doors designed to mitigate noise to nearby residents. In addition, the scene dock has a concrete isolated floor to control structure-borne noise to the apartments and a suspended isolated ceiling to attenuate noise to the apartments above.

A range of technical spaces are located in the basement, which include sound & video editing rooms, voiceover booths, production control rooms, back-of-house dressing rooms and ancillary areas. The two voice over booths and sound control rooms are also fully isolated box-in-box structures although lighter weight high performance drywall constructions.

Extensive room acoustic computer modelling was undertaken to optimise the acoustic treatment in the studios, cinema, screening room and technical spaces.

The large entrance foyer and atrium is used as a gathering space and for a range of events and therefore the control of reverberation and noise build-up were important considerations. The rehearsal space is located away from apartments and has a sprung floor for dance.

The development contains a range of other ancillary spaces including offices and meeting rooms where the key acoustic design requirements included sound insulation, background noise and reverberation.

The building  is located within a quiet residential area and consequently the control of environmental noise from building services plant & systems required extensive attenuation and low air speeds.

The project has achieved a Very Good BREEAM rating for its commitment to sustainability.