The Warwick Arts Centre

Date Complete 2021
Location UK England
Client University of Warwick
Architect Ellis Williams Architects / Bond Bryan

Project summary

The Warwick Arts Centre forms part of the University of Warwick campus and has been refurbished over two phases ahead of Coventry being the UK City of culture in May 2021.
Sandy Brown was engaged to provide acoustic advice on both phases of the campus redevelopment project which provides a new “Arts & Cultural Quarter” for the University of Warwick.

Detailed design

The first phase of the project refurbished the main and studio theatres, back of house areas, and part of the foyer that would be later extended in the second phase. The ventilation systems serving the theatres were completely replaced and were designed to achieve suitably low internal noise levels. The acoustic design focused on maintaining the pre-existing acoustic performances. Phase two of the project comprised a mix of refurbishment and upgrades to the existing spaces as well as demolition and extension to add new areas. Along with a spacious extended foyer the second phase provides three new cinemas (complete with high-end digital projection and sound), a repositioned Mead Gallery, and a new retail area and restaurant. The cinemas required high levels of separation from both the internal and external environment which was achieved with relatively lightweight materials by taking advantage of the architectural and structural design which positioned the auditoria individually within the centre and inherently provided structural isolation from the surrounding foyer spaces. The design resulted in a full transformation that confirms Warwick Arts Centre as the region’s leading cultural centre.