Kier unveils £9m transformation of Aberdeen Music Hall
The £9 million transformation of one of Scotland’s oldest and most historic concert halls was revealed at the weekend as Aberdeen Music Hall re-opened its doors.
The complex renovation has restored much of the concert hall’s original features and created new public areas with improved access.
The major redevelopment to the internal structure of this Grade A listed building required meticulous planning and design work. Extensive underground excavation work was carried out to expand the basement and the auditorium has been significantly upgraded to make it fit for the needs of a 21st Century audience, while retaining its exceptional acoustics.
The Music Hall now features a new-look auditorium, a 100-seat performance space, more flexible staging, a new foyer area, improved rehearsal rooms, upgraded artists facilities, learning spaces, meeting rooms, offices, bars and a café as well as ramps and lifts to improve access to all areas.
The challenging and technically difficult restoration of this historic building has been carried out by Kier Construction Scotland and builds on its extensive experience within the heritage sector, with other current works including the redevelopment of Edinburgh College of Art and the world-famous Burrell Museum.
Sean O’Callaghan, area operations director at Kier Construction Scotland, said: “We are proud to have successfully completed this highly rewarding heritage project. Restoring and refurbishing this 200-year-old, national treasure has posed some incredibly complex engineering challenges, however, our skilled and committed team has delivered innovative solutions to expertly execute this work.
“Throughout the project, we have deepened our relationships with the local supply chain to help create a range of employment opportunities in Aberdeen and the north-east of Scotland. This has included creating 24 apprenticeships, 15 work placements and training opportunities and engaging with 450 school, college and university students and community groups to give them a unique insight into this very special renovation and leave a lasting legacy on this community. It’s has been a privilege for the entire team to deliver a new blueprint of this much-loved building.”
The opening was marked with day of celebratory events, including a special performance by Travis frontman Fran Healy.
Aberdeen Performing Arts chief executive, Jane Spiers, said: “The Music Hall restoration and renovation has been a hugely complex project on a modest budget in comparison to the ambition of the project. The team at Kier Construction bought into our vision from the start and have worked with us all the way, pulling out all the stops to bring it to fruition.
“We’ve faced challenges together and resolved them, not least excavating below ground to create a new level in a 200-year-old category A listed historic building with poor foundations. It’s clear that the team at Kier take enormous pride in the work and go the extra mile to understand and build relationships with the client.”