Yarm Music School

Yarm School

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Project Value:





Key Points

130 seat flexible lecture theatre

Recording studio

Ensemble room

Instrumental music practice spaces

The Next Phase for Yarm

The fifth phase of Associated Architects’ redevelopment masterplan for Yarm School saw the Music Department move from their current home, a non-purpose built facility, into a state of the art specialist music centre. The three storey building sits adjacent to a Grade II listed Friarage, which dates back to 1770, current administrative hub of the school.


A Carefully Considered Response

A number of development constraints, such as flooding from the nearby River Tees, protected habitats and buildings of historical significance have pushed the delivery of a carefully considered response for the site.

The Music School is set back from the listed building to allow visual separation and to avoid blocking of important views. A glazed link connects the two buildings and provides vertical circulation. New doors on the upper floors provide direct and levelled access between the buildings via a bridge link, a platform lift aid access for wheelchair users.

We worked closely with the local planning authority to ensure scale, massing and the high quality of external materials complemented the nature of the adjacent historic building. The building is designed to sit harmoniously within its sensitive surrounding, its scale and proportions take cues from the existing building, whilst its height is kept to a minimum to avoid blocking views.

A Purpose-built Facility

The purpose built facility of the Music School will consist of 130 seats flexible lecture theatre, recording studio, ensemble room, specialist classrooms and instrumental music practice spaces including a drum room. It is constructed as a concrete shell with 225mm thick in situ reinforced perimeter walls and 300mm floors. The form of construction was chosen for its acoustic properties, as well as allowing internal flexibility.

The roof construction is set back from the face of the building and is set behind a small parapet, designed to be as small as possible within the constraints of the required construction build-ups. The parapet is clad in zinc to tie in with the nearby auditorium. The base of the Music School is clad in locally sourced split faced sandstone while the solid mass of the upper floors is finished in a fine grain render to complement the stuccoed façade of the adjacent Friarage.