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Sustainable Conservatoire and Concert Venue

Part 1 Project 2004
Isabella Dalby
Roy Khatchadourian
London Metropolitan University | UK
The proposal is for a sustainable conservatoire and concert venue just north of Aldeburgh, a Suffolk town with a world-renowned musical festival. The site covering 205 hectares and spanning 2 km of the coast is an RSPB-protected freshwater marsh 2-3 metres below sea level which will be overrun by rising sea levels within 50 to 100 years. I shall remove a section of the existing sea defences now, recreating the former saltwater marsh which will flood with seawater at high tide and offer sanctuary to endangered wading birds at low tide. The main edifice – housing concert hall, recital/teaching rooms and open performance spaces – is located on an artificial island in the marsh reached via a causeway. Reminiscent of a sea fort, it offers a combination of enclosure and views across the marsh to the North Sea. A more intimate recital pavilion is situated on a separate artificial island accessible only by boat.
Isabella Dalby
Roy Khatchadourian

The brief for a conservatoire and concert hall in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, was extended by the student to embrace broader issues of landscape through the creation of a saltwater marsh on which her proposition sits. The project interweaves the lifecycles of the music school (performance, practice, reflection), with those of the landscape (migration of birds, tidal flow, seasonal change). The proposed building is thoughtful, dignified and beautiful.

Sited on an artificial island adjacent to the conservatoire is a room for music; a spatial interpretation of “Shakerloops” by the composer John Adams.


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