University of Kent






Quantity Surveying


£4.5 Million

The Colyer-Fergusson building at the University of Kent provides a concert hall that seats an audience of 350 people, practice rooms with heavily insulated walls to prevent sound escaping, a large foyer that spans the length of the building, storage spaces and offices for their thriving music programme.

The Colyer-Fergusson concert halls ceiling and walls are completely lined in Douglas Fir Plywood and supported with solid Douglas Fir rails which stiffen the linings. This ensures no unwanted resonance at musical frequencies occurs, giving the hall world-class acoustics.

The halls audience seating is made of two retractable banks to allow the space to be altered between a flat-floored space or with the seating in various arrangements.



The University demanded a building that delivered cost-effective carbon reductions without negative impact on the performance qualities of the venue. To aid in this ambition the Services Engineers created heating, lighting and ventilation systems that were effective, simple to use and easy to maintain.  To ensure maximum flexibility of use, the mechanical and electrical systems were sympathetically integrated with the architecture.

Extensive glazing provided abundant natural light throughout the building, including in most corridors. As a result, electric lighting does not have to be used during daytime rehearsals or classes. To provide the full range of light levels in the performance hall, energy-efficient LEDs for general usage complement a grid of tungsten lights that provide warm, even illumination during performances.


The building has gained a number accolades including:-

  • RIBA Regional Award for Architecture
  • RIBA National Award for Architecture
  • The Wood Awards: Winner, Commercial & Public Access
  • Stirling Prize mid-list


Project team.

  • Architect

    Tim Ronalds Architects

  • Structural Engineer

    Price & Myers

  • Services Engineer

    Max Fordham

  • Contractor

    R Durtnell & Sons

"I just want to tell you what a stunning, world class hall it is! I haven't enjoyed playing anywhere as much for a long time. The feeling on stage is close to perfect, with that beautiful warm wood all around and the dimensions are just right: spacious but still intimate. The acoustics are just fantastic: one can hear a pin drop and comfortably explore the extremes of dynamics. The University of Kent should be very proud of this hall, and I for one can't wait to be back!"

Daniel Rowland: Leader of the Brodsky Quartet