Hoddinott Hall, Wales Millennium Centre

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Hoddinott Hall, Wales Millennium Centre
Capita Architecture was appointed to design the new home for the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales. The bespoke building was designed to meet the current and future needs of the orchestra that had outgrown its previous home of more than 40 years at Broadcasting House in Llandaff, Cardiff. Located in Cardiff Bay, the building is the second phase of development on the Wales Millennium Centre site. The new facilities include BBC Hoddinott Hall, named after the late Welsh composer Alun Hoddinott, and the Grace Williams Studio that will allow the Orchestra’s range of interactive projects with school children and the wider community to be extended. The project began in October 2000 when Percy Thomas Architects (now Capita Architecture) were approached by the Wales Millennium Centre to provide advice about the possibility of accommodating rehearsal and performance accommodation for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales within the Wales Millennium Centre development site in Cardiff Bay. Numerous design options were explored over the following years that focused on locating the building on the corner site between Pierhead Street and Bute Place and were based on the brief prepared by David Murray, Director of the Orchestra. The BBC National Orchestra of Wales’ new hall was launched with an opening festival held Thursday 22nd January to Sunday 1st February 2009, with live performances broadcast on BBC Radio 3. The opening piece was an orchestral showpiece by the man after whom it is named, Alun Hoddinott. Hoddinott Hall has been greeted with praise by orchestra and audience alike for the appearance of the hall and also the acoustics, testimony to the coordinated efforts of BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the design team and the contractors on site. Below are extracts from press coverage followed by the building sustainability statement; “It’s transforming the orchestra’s sound, it’s transforming the attitude of the players coming to work - I see big eyes, big smiles. I work on sounds with the orchestra players and you have the feeling they can hear all the groups. They want to be better and the desire to be better is much stronger in the orchestra.` Thierry Fischer, Principal conductor BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Concert hall delights orchestra, By Kevin Leonard, BBC News website, 23 January 2009 “If the Hoddinott Hall is ‘only’ a recording studio, it must be the grandest and most beautiful one in Britain.` Richard Morrison, The Times. A playground in finest oak, The Times, Tuesday 20th January 2009 “First impressions of the concert-studio were one of spaciousness and unexpected charm. All praise to the architects, engineers, builders and last, but not least, a forward thinking BBC.` John Hilling, Vice President, Cardiff Civic Society Wales Millennium Centre Extension, Civic Society News, Spring 2009.


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