Birmingham Conservatoire’s new premises set to open summer 2017

Birmingham Conservatoire have released a virtual ‘fly-through’ of its new premises currently under construction.

The building, now estimated to cost £57 million will be a major improvement on the out-dated and dilapidated Paradise Circus site which finally closed in May 2016.

Not everyone is keen on the new building. The original design caused some consternation amongst councillors, some of whom described it as an ‘overturned cheese grater’ (not sure I see that myself) and looking like an Oxo cube. The lack of windows bothers me, so too the ‘open-ness’ of the building.

I would have like to have seen grander entrances, for example. The performance spaces feel closed off – hermetically sealed boxes similar to the Kings Place development in North London.

The fly-through doesn’t give away much detail about individual practice or study spaces, that and the still austere exterior makes it appear less of a creative destination and more of a correctional facility.

But perhaps the really important point is that its a performance hub with five performance venues all with excellent acoustic qualities, including a public concert hall with the capacity for 400 seats and more than 70 music practice rooms.

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