Acoustics Brochure

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Placemaking for a Modern World We design at every scale and at every stage in the process of placemaking, from visioning to briefing, design, delivery and operation. The places we create are distinct; social, natural, useful and beautiful — a reflection of humanity. The practice has grown to over 1,200 people operating from a collaborative network of city studios, all creative hubs connected to the cities and regions they serve. Our acoustics team combines scientific analysis, creative design skills and practical experience to work across all sectors.

We specialise in architectural and building acoustics. Our success results from our interdisciplinary working environment which provides a unique level of understanding of design and engineering. Our involvement in projects ranges from small-scale noise assessments to full consultancy on major long-term schemes.


Acoustics plays a crucial role in the design of transformational educational spaces. The flexibility required from open plan teaching spaces, multi- function assembly halls and heart- space atria necessitates careful design to ensure function is not comprised by form. As well as the bold open-plan spaces, quiet retreats are required to support personalised learning objectives.

Kent SEN Schools

Location Kent, UK Client Faithful and Gould Cost £32.3m Completion 2016

BDP Acoustics were employed to carry out acoustic design for 3 new Special Educational Needs Schools in Kent. The various schools cater for pupils aged 2-19 with Profound, Severe and Complex learning difficulties. All three schools have specialist facilities including: Simulation Multisensory Interactive Learning Environment (SMILE) rooms, Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) rooms, Specialist subject rooms for D&T, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy rooms.

Enterprise South Liverpool Academy

Location Liverpool, UK Client Lendlease Cost £22m Completion 2013

Enterprise South Liverpool Academy (ESLA) is a new specialist school that serves as a national centre of business and enterprise. The building has been designed around a central social heartspace which is the focus of the academy’s core activities, and provides a place where users feel a sense of belonging. The Enterprise Centre, with its clear identity and individual expression, provides training, vocational and enterprise opportunities for students as well as being a valuable local community resource.

Marlowe Academy

Location Ramsgate, UK Client Roger de Haan/Kent County Council/DCSF (formerly DfES) Cost £21m Completion 2006

The academy for 1,200 pupils from age 11–16, focuses its three teaching faculties around an open performance space, which can also be used as social, learning and informal teaching space. This heart of the building opens up the business and performing arts ‘specialisms’ to the public. The main performing arts ‘Drum’ features a series of teaching spaces for drama, dance and music which open up to form one large performance space.

University of Roehampton Library

Location London, UK Client University of Roehampton Cost £24m Completion 2017

The New Library is the centrepiece of the redevelopment masterplan of the Digby Stuart campus at the University of Roehampton. The heart of the development is the inspirational library providing a modern, adaptable learning environment, for students, staff and the local community with spaces for individual and group working in both interactive and quiet study. A ‘garden room’ facing onto the parkland offers cafe facilities while a terrace at roof level enjoys stunning views across London.

Eastwood High School

Location East Renfrewshire, UK Client Scottish Futures Trust Cost £28m Completion 2013

Concept design for one of two schools as part of the pathfinder project which will deliver 55 new schools in Scotland through the SFT in conjunction with Scottish Government. The joint project delivered two new schools and achieved efficiencies by using the same contractor and processes. Eastwood High School provides enhanced school and community facilities which include sports pitches and library learning centre.

Live Acoustic testing is mandatory for completed apartments, hotels, student halls and hospital residences. Our acoustics team members are registered ANC testers and hold Institute of Acoustics membership.

Abito Apartments

Location Manchester, UK Client ASK development Cost £23m (Greengate) £24m (Salford Quays) Completion 2007 (Greengate) 2009 (Salford Quays)

“Not bigger but smarter”, is the strapline on the Abito website, which perfectly summarises the new compact apartment scheme, aimed at both first time buyers and people wanting a city ‘crash pad’. These modular apartment buildings showcase high quality, innovative design on a budget where, within each flat, the generous volume more than compensates for the compact plan form.

Tollgate Gardens Residential Development Location London, UK Client Westminster City Council Cost £50m Completion 2019 As part of Westminster City Council’s Housing Renewal Strategy, Tollgate Gardens Residential Development replaces the existing late 1960s estate. With a high level of community involvement from the residents the design responds sensitively to the Oxford Road conservation area where a central garden forms the communal heart within which the community hub building sits. The scheme incorporates dual and triple aspect apartments and active roof spaces used as terraces.

Landsea Eco-Housing

Location Nanjing, China Client Landsea Completion 2012

The Nanjing Eco-Housing Project, China showcases sustainable technologies at an internationally recognised standard within these green, high-tech residential developments. Louvered balconies allow natural ventilation and act as passive solar winter-gardens when seasons allow, while apartments utilising full height triple glazing allows useful passive solar gains and free flowing access to the balconies.


From environmental impact assessment to commissioning testing many years later, acousticians played a significant role in making the £165m Victoria Square development sensational. We monitored construction noise and vibration during early piling, even during the explosive demolition of a 20-storey office building on the site. Strict regimes were agreed with the city authorities to protect nearby law courts and commercial premises.

Sophisticated multi-slab isolation and screening separate the landlord’s plant from multiplex cinemas, shops and apartments which top the complex. Modelling studies and auralisations complemented the architects’ visual walk-throughs, and allowed accurate prediction of the aural atmosphere awaiting those queuing to go up the ‘lily pads’ under the central dome.

Victoria Square

Location Belfast, Ireland Client AM Development Cost £165m construction value, £400m total value Completion 2008

The £400m major retail scheme, Victoria Square, is one of the biggest and most expensive developments ever undertaken in Northern Ireland. The scheme includes more than 50,000m2 of retail floorspace, a health club, 90 residential apartments with some overlooking the city centre and the river Lagan, a library, a gastrodome and underground parking for 1,000 cars. The diverse offering from this scheme has brought life and activity back to Belfast city centre throughout the day and evening.

Boxpark, Wembley

Location Wembley, UK Client Boxpark Completion 2018

From the creator of the world’s first pop-up mall, drawing on its shipping container roots demonstrated in Boxpark Croydon, Boxpark Wembley has a completely new and bespoke building design incorporating the signature black and white Boxpark brand. With a capacity for over 2,000 people for both largescale events and more intimate functions, the mall is set to host over 200 events per year offering units featuring some of the best independent food traders.


Our studio in Piccadilly Basin was the first naturally ventilated and night time cooled building in Manchester to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating. The acoustic louvres assist the sustainability driven design to ensure comfortable internal conditions in a city centre location.

BDP's Manchester Studio

Location Manchester, UK Client Town Centre Securities Cost £10m Completion 2008

Situated along the southern edge of the Piccadilly canal basin, the six storey building on Ducie Street is used by our Manchester team, accommodating up to 275 employees in large open plan studios over 33,000 sq ft of sustainable office accommodation. The new Manchester studio innovatively incorporates natural ventilation within this inner city development, whilst still achieving suitable internal noise levels in line with relevant guidance.

One Angel Square

Location Northampton, UK Client Northamptonshire County Council Cost £40m Completion 2017

We won the design competition for a new office building for Northamptonshire County Council, enabling its 2,000 workforce to relocate from 12 separate properties into one BREEAM Excellent headquarters. The building regenerates a historically important quarter of the town whilst respecting the scale and grain of its neighbours. The entrance faces a newly created public square, and leads into a four storey atrium reception and street.


Location Dublin, Ireland Client Rothco Cost €3m Completion 2018

The new Dublin office of creative agency Rothco / Accenture demonstrates innovation and creativity in this vibrant and lively open plan working environment. It incorporates an open presentation area, with theatre style seating steps which can be used alongside the rest of the space.


We have provided acoustic consultancy to major healthcare projects such as the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, one of the largest hospital projects in the UK. Acoustic design is a key component in the quality and effectiveness of healthcare buildings. Research shows that noise and sound affects people both physiologically and psychologically.

Good acoustic conditions maintain patient privacy and dignity and promote essential sleep patterns, as well as bringing benefits in terms of patient and staff morale.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Location Birmingham, UK Client University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust Cost £582m

We developed an ideal hospital concept through intensive consultation with patients, visitors, staff and the trust’s clinical review groups. We also analysed the trust’s clinical care model, developing disease groupings to cut patients’ movement around the hospital and reduce the number of healthcare professionals they have to meet during their stay. The findings enabled us to design a compact hospital with distinct, efficient realms for the public, patients, staff and services.

Keir Hardie Health Park

Location Merthyr Tydfil, Wales Client Laing O’Rourke for Cwm Taf Health Board Cost £35m Completion 2012

The Keir Hardie Health Park is a £35m development by Cwm Taf Health Board, which brings together community health and GP services, outpatient clinics and therapies and mental health and learning disability services all under one roof for the first time. It is the only health centre of its kind in Wales to integrate health, wellbeing and social care on such an extensive scale.

Hexham Hospital

Location Hexham, UK Client Catalyst / Bovis Land Lease Cost £28m Completion 2003

This general acute hospital enjoys a prominent position in the town of Hexham and adds a major feature to its skyline. The accommodation comprises 98 beds, a sterilising and disinfection unit, endoscopy suite, CT scanner suite, coronary care unit, pathology, mortuary, primary care centre, operating theatres, pharmacy, catering and education facilities.

Royal Brompton

Location London, UK Client Architect Llewyn Devis Cost £5m Completion 2016

The refurbishment of 77/78 Wimpole Street from its existing use as office space into a medical facility will be used as the Trust’s private outpatients facility. The two buildings are mid Georgian townhouses within the Harley Street conservation area. The new private outpatients Facility includes a number of consulting, treatment and diagnostic rooms, an MRI imaging room and PET/CT area in a ‘5-star’ hotel standard environment.


The BBC has the most critical live broadcasting requirements involving the highest standards of isolation, separation, ventilation, noise control, diffusion and reverberation. BBC Mailbox, with quadruple acoustic glazing (shown), is the home of the well-known radio programme The Archers as well as radio studios, dubbing suites and edit rooms.

BDP was the independent commissioning acoustic engineer for the BBC facilities at MediaCityUK in Salford Quays and provided acoustic consultancy for a number of other recent broadcast studios.

BBC Mailbox

Location Birmingham, UK Client BBC Cost £45m Completion 2004

This modern interactive office environment was designed to open up the space to the licence payer that the Mailbox would become a showcase for BBC creativity. A dramatic hub space was created to link public, production, studio and open plan office spaces, with studios located in the centre of the Mailbox. At the time of construction, the recording, drama, TV and radio studio spaces were some of the most advanced in the world in terms of acoustic performance.

Qatar National Convention Centre

Location Doha, Qatar Client Baytur Construction Company Cost $1.1b (£700m) Completion 2011

The $1.1 billion Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) development can accommodate 27,000 people, with facilities including: conference hall for 4,600 delegates, 2,232-seat lyric style theatre, three additional tiered auditoria with 300-500 capacity, 40,000 m2 of exhibition / banquet space and 57 meeting rooms, all connected by a vast atrium space. The theatre includes a variable acoustics system, where significant areas of acoustic absorption can be automatically retracted.


At the Grade II* listed Manchester Town Hall and Central Library buildings, we are helping to extend and restore the buildings’ historic fabric. The complex transformation will allow for double the capacity of visitors and greater public access. All this with a low carbon approach, bringing the buildings up to modern environmental standards.

For Leeds Grand Theatre, invisible acoustic absorption on the rear wall of the refurbished Howard Assembly Room helps to control the reverberation time. Acoustic plaster is trowelled over a mineral fibre backing to provide a seamless clean aesthetic which works acoustically. The refurbishment provides a first class 400-seat venue for music making and a permanent home for Opera North.

Royal Albert Hall

Location London, UK

We were commissioned in 1990 to develop a masterplan for the first comprehensive refurbishment of the Grade I listed Royal Albert Client Corporation of the Hall Hall since its construction after the Great Exhibition of 1851. The refurbishment involved of Arts & Sciences developments within the main auditorium itself Cost in addition to changes to the terraces and £70m gardens south of the hall improving access to the stage, kitchens and plant rooms in the Completion basement, as well as the creation of a major 2003 new pedestrian space and expansion of the public foyers.

Aberdeen Music Hall

Location Aberdeen, UK Client Aberdeen Performing Arts Cost £9m Completion 2018

We were appointed by Aberdeen Performing Arts in March 2013 to transform Aberdeen’s Grade-A listed concert hall, broadening its appeal to a wider audience of all age groups, upgrading and modernising the facilities and providing much-needed multipurpose and music education spaces. Through detailed acoustic modelling and measurement techniques, suitable architectural finishes were identified for the concert hall refurbishment in order to maintain its reputation for its wonderful acoustics.

Concert Hall, Royal Northern College of Music

Location Manchester, UK Client Royal Northern College of Music Cost £7.1m Completion 2015

Our masterplan feasibility study of the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) concert hall and other college facilities led to the full scale £7.1m redevelopment of the building. The dramatic redevelopment included the construction of an additional balcony within the concert hall, to increase its capacity from 460 to 650. Through elegant and careful acoustic and structural design, the worldleading music college has been able to maintain its international standing.

Perth Concert Hall

Location Perth, UK Client Perth and Kinross Leisure Cost £17m Completion 2005

Perth Concert Hall is the first full-scale purpose-built concert hall (for orchestral music) in Scotland since Glasgow Royal Concert Hall in 1990. At the heart of the scheme is a versatile 1,200 seat auditorium designed to accommodate multiple varying functions by means of a moveable floor, providing a full flat floor and various raked seating formats.

National Army Museum

Location London, UK Client Council of the National Army Museum Cost £23m Completion 2017

We were appointed in 2012 for the comprehensive refurbishment of the National Army Museum in Chelsea. The museum houses the national collections of the Land Forces of the Crown, and now receives in excess of 270,000 visitors a year. The museum sought to re-establish itself as a national museum through the substantial reordering of the existing building, creating physical and intellectually accessible environments together with the provision of new visitor facilities.

Oldham Town Hall

Location Oldham, UK Client Oldham Council Cost £35m Completion 2016

The redevelopment of the hall combined best conservation practice with innovative design thinking to incorporate a seven-screen 800 seat cinema with retail units, high end restaurants and cafes within the building, while retaining architectural features and decorations, keeping and transforming many of the original spaces such as the existing ballroom, council chamber, committee rooms and court rooms.



We use the most advanced computer modelling software and hardware available. These tools allow us not only to help realise innovative design solutions, but also to ensure that they are successful and cost efficient. Models are used in many situations, from developing the finest acoustic conditions in specialist performing arts spaces to speech intelligibility analysis for large openplan spaces in schools to demonstrate compliance with BB93 legislation.

Jet Nozzle and Unsteady Fluids, Loughborough University Location Loughborough, UK Client Loughborough University Cost £3.5m Completion 2007

The new Jet Nozzle and Unsteady Fluids laboratories at Loughborough University are high specification post graduate research facilities for the aeronautical and automotive engineering department built within the shell of an existing building on the Science and Enterprise campus. The innovative design of these precision facilities consisted of specialist test cells, including Jet Nozzle, Acoustic and Annular Rigs.

Carole Nash Recital Room, Royal Northern College of Music Location Manchester, UK Client RNCM Cost £750k Completion 2011

The redevelopment of the Lord Rhodes Recital Room, now renamed the Carole Nash Recital Room, facilitates its use as a performance and recording venue for students and professional artists at the Royal Northern College of Music. The wide variety of events to be undertaken in the space required that the scheme included flexible acoustics, such as the incorporated retractable wall absorption.

Gloucester Transport Hub

Location Gloucester, UK Client Gloucester City Council Cost £6.4m Completion 2018

Gloucester’s new functional and yet architecturally stunning bus station integrates into the proposed Stanhope’s Kings Quarter retail development scheme with improved pedestrian links to the railway station and city centre. The single roofplane resembles an aircraft wing and is intended as a reference to Gloucester’s unique aviation history as well as providing a dramatic and iconic structural form. The wing also has an aerofoil section and is punctuated at various points to allow light penetration to the concourse and bus stands.

King’s Cross Redevelopment

Location London, UK Client Network Rail Cost £500M (£40M BDP) Completion 2012

We were part of the large-scale project involving the construction of three new underground ticket halls and connecting tunnels at King’s Cross station. One of the fundamental challenges was that the works were to take place whilst both the underground lines and tickets halls remained operational. The works involved an assessment of vibration level caused by the underground trains and the impact of structure reradiated noise on the public address/voice alarm system.

Gavin Stevenson Head of Acoustics Richard Grove Acoustics Director

Photography: Nick Caville, David Barbour, Peter Cook, Sanna Fisher-Payne, Martine Hamilton-Knight, Hufton+Crow, Keith Hunter, Donal Murphy, Royal Brompton/Wimpole, Gavin Stevenson, Terrence Zhang Cover: Royal Albert Hall Profession key: Architecture (Ar), Acoustics (Ac), Building Services Engineering (BSE), Civil and Structural Engineering (C&S), Design Management (DM), Graphic Design (GD), Interior Design (ID), Landscape Architecture (La), Lighting (Li), Masterplanning (Ma), Planning (Pl), Sustainability (Su), Urban Design (UD)

” We are acoustic experts who think like designers, engineers and architects” — Gavin Stevenson Head of Acoustics

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