Clifton College Music School

Clifton College, Clifton, Bristol

Construction Value £1,400,000


The Clifton College Music School was constructed in 1900 with an extension added in the 1960’s. The facilities and space provided were outdated and sub-standard for current musical teaching methods and practice. The layout of the building, space and access requirements within the existing buildings also made conversion difficult and costly.

A project team was assembled with Kitto Construction acting as project manager to determine the feasibility, develop the brief, prepare budgets and control the build. Consultation with the College music staff was undertaken to ensure all the requirements were considered with the overall cost constraints paramount. The College Governor, Musical Director and architect visited other schools with contemporary music facilities to glean ideas and to gain from their experiences. These ideas were reviewed and the design evolved into a cost effective package.

Clifton College Music School Classroom

Clifton College Music School Classroom

The College proposed to retain the Recital Hall and for the 1960’s extension to be demolished and re-built with the remainder to be refurbished to suit the College’s teaching and musical aspirations.

The College was keen to provide a state-of-the-art music school with the latest technology and facilities without losing the character original building. The design included stringent acoustic parameters, a recording studio and control room both linked with the Recital Hall and practice rooms. Specialised infrastructure incorporating sound, recording, performance lighting and mechanical services were included in the design and construction process.

Clifton College Music School Recital Hall

Clifton College Music School Recital Hall

Due to planning constraints the demolished stone façade was salvaged and reused in the reconstruction. Each feature stone was numbered, carefully removed and rebuilt into the new extension.

The College vacated the buildings and temporarily relocated the music school activities on campus. The site, adjacent to Bristol Zoo, was very restricted and road closures, access and consideration of the public health and safety aspects were of paramount importance to minimise inconvenience to the college and the safety of third parties. Kitto Construction’s expertise in project management and proven ability to cooperate and work with clients and neighbours ensured the success of this project. Demolitions and extensive asbestos removal under controlled conditions were phased and undertaken during the school summer holiday.

The project was completed within the programme of 40 weeks and within the original feasibility budget agreed at the beginning of the project.