Creating the wow!
What makes cultural buildings inspiring and economically robust?
Whether designing at a city, masterplan or building scale we understand that our technical response to the brief will define ‘the interface’ that cultural infrastructure will have with its internal and external communities; the staff and performers and the audience. Are these venues open, inviting and inspiring, thus maximising their social and economic impact on the surrounding community and beyond? See HOME in Manchester for one answer.
At BuroHappold, we believe the vision for your project is a vital thread and we are not afraid to challenge the brief to allow more flexibility and creativity into our technical response to it. All decisions hang from the vision and to realise it, we combine fresh, creative thinking with decades of experience in solving deep and complex engineering challenges. We know what it takes to develop the cultural icons of the future from greenfield sites such as the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Arkansas, or to unlock the potential of historic landmarks such as St Ann’s Warehouse in New York City or The Riverside Museum of Transport in Glasgow, to help regenerate whole districts.
The Crystal Bridges Museum of Modern Art is a masterclass in elegant engineering, comprising seven pavilions connected by three ethereal floating bridges.
St. Ann’s Warehouse promotes creativity by providing performers with an inspiring space and encouraging community engagement with the arts.
Services we offer to the cultural sector:
- Feasibility and economic viability assessments
- Environmental assessments
- People flow studies and wayfinding
- Transport and access assessments
- Civil, Structural and facade design
- Building environmental, mechanical and electrical engineering
- Acoustics, lighting, building services and inclusive design
- Fire, security and technology services
- Post occupancy evaluation
The audience experience
What is the shape of the audience experience of a performance venue? It starts with a seamless booking process and continues through the arrival sequence and the hospitality, and even to the air quality and acoustics in the auditorium (See Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Katowice Concert Hall).
What is the state of the art?
Or in terms of museums and galleries, precious artefacts and works of art are more at risk from clumsy air-conditioning systems than they are from visitors. In fact, a carefully designed ’passive’ system, that controls the rate of change of conditions with the minimum of technical intervention and less energy consumption, represents state of the art engineering. And this, delivered with a sensitivity that supports artefact preservation, architectural elegance and vision (see Louvre Abu Dhabi and The Whitworth, Manchester as examples).
Drawing the crowds
Your cultural buildings should have the power to transform communities – engaging and inspiring visitors locally, nationally and globally. Successful examples of this include the British Museum Great Court in London, and will be the case with the striking Xiqu Centre in Hong Kong.
Draw on expertise from across our international practice
You have access to the breadth of planning and engineering skills from across BuroHappold. By integrating our services you can have the best of both worlds; best practice and personal, on the ground management.
When our engineers work together around a single objective, the ground becomes fertile and clients benefit beyond expectations. From designing extraordinary solutions for concert halls (Katowice, Poland), to developing flexible performance spaces (The Factory, Manchester), to modelling visitor flow and improving access (Natural History Museum). In fact, we’re able to address every detail.
The results are cultural spaces that are at once wonderful and workable, awe-inspiring and effective, and always remarkable – on both an artistic and commercial level.
Although it is a time of economic uncertainty the cultural sector is booming. Investment in the social infrastructure that cultural venues provide is recognised as a key policy issue at a local, city, national and international level. In fact the brands and tourist revenues of many cities hang on the success of their cultural offering.
However, the demands for the sustainable return on investment are growing and social and economic impact is a key success factor. This is the subject of study and engagement through our Venue of Value initiative.
Use our EnginuityTM tool to explore the range of skills that may be needed for your project.
What our clients say:
BuroHappold has lots of really talented individuals. When you work with them, you feel like you are tapping into people that are interested in and are specialists in their fields. You get the sense that they invest in research and innovation and so have lots to draw upon.
When designing, they are forward-looking and explore the options. This gives you confidence.
Carol Lelliott, Partner
Nicholas Hare Architects