Royal Academy of Music successfully handed over

RISE Management Consulting are delighted to have been involved as the construction advisors for the Theatre and the new Recital Hall at the Royal Academy of Music designed by Ian Ritchie Architects.

The project has been seamlessly integrated within the historic site and includes:

  • The Susie Sainsbury Theatre
  • New Angela Burgess Recital Hall (Rooftop)
  • Five new percussion studios, jazz room and audiovisual control room
  • 14 refurbished practice and dressing rooms
  • New and improved circulation areas

Hidden behind the listed façade of the Royal Academy of Music’s Edwardian premises, the site is surrounded by Grade I and Grade II listed buildings and located within the Regent’s Park conservation area.

Designed for both opera and musical theatre productions, The Susie Sainsbury Theatre sits at the heart of the Academy. Inspired by the curved shapes of string instruments, the 309-seat cherry-lined Theatre has been acoustically refined by Arup Acoustics to deliver excellent sound qualities. The lighting deconstructs the traditional chandelier into an exploding theatre-wide galaxy of light through 600 fibre-optic crystals. Within the old concrete walls, the Theatre incorporates 40% more seating than previously through the addition of a balcony, as well as a larger orchestra pit, a stage wing and a fly tower. The balcony has unimpeded views of the stage, while the larger orchestra pit allows for an expanded repertoire choice, from early to modern opera and musical theatre, and improves the acoustics for musicians, performers and audience.

Above the Theatre, and acoustically isolated from all other buildings, the new 100-seat Recital Hall provides the Academy with a further 230m2 space. Entirely lined in pale, lime-washed oak, an oculus floods the room with daylight and provides the space with a central focus. The Recital Hall has a footprint as large as that of the main stage, making it an ideal rehearsal space.

The project was unusually complex due to the constrained site into which the myriad of functions of a modern opera and musical theatre were to be introduced. A close and highly co-ordinated approach developed by Geoffrey Osborne and monitored by RISE, enabled a successful integration of architectural and theatrical requirements with structural, acoustic, safety, mechanical and electrical systems.



2018 RIBA Awards (London) – Shortlist
2018 RICES Awards (London) – Finalist
2017 AR Awards – Commendation
2017 WAF Awards – Finalist





‘The spaces are stunningly beautiful and inspiring. They will raise the bar and challenge the students and staff in every possible form of music to reach higher and search further.’

 – Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, Principal, Royal Academy of Music

 “We are delighted with the results of this project. Through the relationship we developed with the client, consultants and contractor team we were able to create an environment of trust and collaboration that the project team required to tackle such a complex project, under tight budget and programme constraints that will be admired for generations”.                                                          

– Bob White, Chairman, Rise Management Consulting Ltd


RISE’s hands-on, innovative approach to the delivery of this project is another demonstration of RISE’s unique ability to take on challenging briefs and engineer bespoke solutions for clients.




Royal Academy images have been photographed by Adam Scott.


For further information about this project please contact Andrew Link on

Rise Management Consulting

Rise Management Consulting

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