First look: Performance space revamp for Leeds College of Music

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Leeds College of Music is set to revamp its main performance space with a striking rooftop extension, right in the heart of the city’s cultural quarter.

The extension will transform the conservatoire’s 350 seat main performance space, The Venue, into a spectacular, flexible space for creativity.

And it is hoped that the development will not only improve the performance facilities on offer to students, but also revolutionise the audience experience and further attract high-profile professional artists.

The contemporary design promises to be a striking addition to the city’s architecture.

The new space will be enclosed with a full perimeter glazed screen allowing visitors views across the city, whilst a glazed attic will be shaded by black and gold vertical louvres.

Work is due to start in May and expected to be completed by early September 2017.

In addition to breathtaking city views, the new space will also incorporate an in-situ bar, catering facilities and state-of-the-art technical equipment.

The 2,150 sq ft space will include breakout rooms and dedicated catering areas, in order to facilitate the conservatoire’s eclectic programme of performance, conferences and educational events.

It will also be an area for young people to study at the weekend on Leeds College of Music’s Saturday Music School and Yorkshire Young Musicians provision.

Principal and managing director of Leeds College of Music, Gerry Godley, said: “We want The Venue to be a key creative space within the rich arts and culture offering in Leeds. By improving the setting for the eclectic LCoM events programme, the new space will be a vibrant place for students to learn and develop as musicians.

“It will also provide a fantastic opportunity for music lovers across the city and beyond to see high calibre, innovative artists in a breathtaking venue.”

Simon Baker, from architects Group Ginger added: “We approached the roof top extension as though we were completing the building and providing the penthouse accommodation that was missing from the original. We always look to celebrate the user and the activity in the space; it was important that this space expressed the creativity of the college students but also engaged with the surrounding city skyline. We like to think of it as though it could be a piano bar or lounge in New York.”

2017 will also see a £1.2M development of the Skyline Music Library at the Quarry Hill Skyline building, which will improve learning resources for LCoM students and open up its impressive facilities to the public.

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