Higher Education


Flagship facilities have become very important to the education sector to attract prospective students, to offer the latest learning paths and technology and also to provide profitable commercial activities.


The University of West London undertook a multi-million pound regeneration project aimed at improving students learning and technical experience.  Recording studio facilities created for the London School of Music at the University of West London comprised a Live Room, with state-of-the-art Control Room, Drum and Piano Booth, and a Post-Production Studio. The studios are located in the basement of the Lady Byron building.



  • Construction programme – the studios had to be complete, equipped and handed over by the end of March and work began mid-January (two and a half months)
  • Height – the basement had very limited height, the floor had to be dug out and lowered, ground water was encountered that had to be dealt with
  • Industry standard facilities – are an essential part of learning, there being little point to learning on outdated equipment


Every acoustic and construction project is different;  this one presented several challenges to design and construct to a high standard and very tight program, dealing with the unexpected and daily obstacles as they presented, and providing flagship facilities to give the students the same working environment that they will experience in real world studios later in their careers.


The studios formed part of a much larger project being delivered by Willmott Dixon. Due to incredibly tight time restraints, a 10 week construction programme was compressed to 6 weeks to meet Willmott Dixon’s objectives. Most projects of this kind have a minimum lead time of 4 months for design and install and VA achieved this part in 6 weeks to provide time for the technical installation and address the nature of the programme.


Existing studios in a block to be refurbished had to be replaced and Willmott Dixon had planned to remove these as part of their development works but the programme was brought forward and this would have left the University without functioning studio facilities at a critical time.  An existing maintenance workshop and store in the basement were identified as the new location. The brief was to design and build studios as floating rooms. To deliver the design more height was required and the floor had to be lowered, removing a considerable amount of concrete and laying new.


Willmott Dixon carried out the excavation work during the Christmas break, this overran by two weeks reducing construction time.  As the construction work began, and during a heavy rainfall period, water began seeping in through the foundations - the water table had risen.  This caused several delays; waiting for water to dry and installing a resin tanking to seal the concrete works.  With an already very tight window this process added even more pressure to the programme.


Having completed the construction next was the technical installation.  The studio equipment is based around the Audient Heritage desk, selected for its intuitive learning, enabling students to quickly learn and understand audio signal path and processing towards recording and mixing of music and sound.

The studios were handed over to Willmott Dixon ahead of the deadline, complete, tested and snag free.