Cedars Hall, Wells Cathedral School

Somerset, UK

In the shade of a Cedar tree planted by HRH Prince Charles, Cedars Hall completes the triumvirate of Wells Cathedral School’s musical venues and affirms the school’s status as one of the foremost institutions for musical education in the UK.

Students playing musical instruments in the rehearsal space of Eavis Hall, with wooden panels, dark red walls and large windows with exposed structural beams in the roof

Exposed structural beams in the roof further enhance the acoustic performance of the space.

Wells Cathedral School is one of just five specialist musical independent schools for school-age children in the United Kingdom. Cedars Hall, designed by Eric Parry Architects, opened in 2016 and joins Quilter Hall and Wells Cathedral as the school’s three major performance venues.

The building contains three performance and rehearsal spaces including Eavis Hall; the main, 350-seat recital hall named after Old Wellensian Michael Eavis, CBE, founder of the Glastonbury Festival. Additionally, the building hosts inter-connected flexible spaces for teaching, rehearsing, performing and recording.

We provided guidance on the planning of the recital space, including alternative seating configurations, staging platform options and design of stagelighting and audiovisual systems.

“The building is still showing us new possibilities for performance.”

Elizabeth Cairncross, Headmistress

Eavis Hall view from the stage with empty red seats and large dark red wall panels and windows as well as the exposed wooden beams in the roof with lighting equipment

The stage, seating and acoustic wall panels within Eavis Hall can be adapted for various layouts

Side view of students playing musical instruments rehearsing in Eavis Hall, with wooden panels, dark red walls and large windows with exposed structural beams in the roof

We provided guidance on the planning of the recital space, including alternative seating configurations

Corner view of the empty Eavis Hall at the Wells Cathedral School

The building also contains three performance and rehearsal spaces besides Eavis Hall.

The stage, seating and acoustic wall panels within Eavis Hall can be adapted for various layouts with differing acoustic qualities suitable for a range of music styles and audience configurations. Exposed structural beams in the roof further enhance the acoustic performance of the space.

In addition, we assisted on stage engineering for equipment suspension in the space, work at height considerations, backstage planning, get-in and technical access, structural, mechanical and electrical implications and provisional technical equipment costs.

“the technical equipment has been carefully integrated to ensure that it does not distract either from the performances or the look of this beautiful room.”

Steve Roberts, Bristol Studio Principal

Section drawing of Eavis Hall.

Plan drawing of Eavis Hall.

Watch a film by Wells Cathedral School on the new Cedars Hall.

Project Details

Client

Wells Cathedral School

Project cost

£9.4m

Completed

2016

Awards

RIBA South West Award 2017
RIBA South West Building of the Year Award 2017

Exterior view of the Cedars Hall building of the Wells Cathedral School at dusk with a grass field in the foreground

Credits

Theatre Consultant

Charcoalblue

Structural Engineer

Momentum Consulting Engineers

Environmental / M&E Engineer

Buro Happold

Project Management

QSPM

Landscape Architect

Land Use Consultants

Photography

Dirk Lindner

Related

Cedars Hall’s 400-seat concert space shares a robust materiality and sense of being grounded in its location.

RIBA Journal

Press

...devotion to pushing the performances front and centre has paid off

The Architects' Journal

Press

Supporting the industry internationally since 2004

The Queen's Awards for Enterprise: International Trade 2020 UK Theatre Tonic ITEAC Theatres Trust Theatre Communications Group
Steve Roberts

Talk to Steve about Cedars Hall.

Contact Steve

+44 (0)117 325 9280