BBC Hoddinott Hall

Capita Symonds Architecture, Cardiff, 2008


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Every aspect of the hall’s design creates optimum conditions for both performance and recording 

Brian Tarr (website)     Download Original

  • Every aspect of the hall’s design creates optimum conditions for both performance and recording    
  • Every aspect of the hall’s design creates optimum conditions for both performance and recording    
  • The 350 audience seats are split between either end of the hall, sandwiching the orchestra between them    
  • When no audience is present during recording, ‘acoustic duvets’ absorb the same amount of sound    
  • Convex ceiling panels can be raised or lowered to reflect sound back to the musicians below    
  • The letters of Hoddinott are evenly spaced across two lines on the audience entrance doors, with the second ‘o’ conveniently formed by central pair of door handles    
  • View of the first floor landing from the entrance    
  • Sound insultation round the hall attains Dw72, enough to muffle a car alarm in the carpark below    
  • Hoddinott Hall is tucked around the back of the first stage of the Welsh Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay    
  • Site location plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Second floor plan    
  • Third floor plan    
  • Fourth floor plan     
  • Long section    
  • Cross section    
  • Proposed elevation    
  • Model render - The hall’s coffin shape allows it to achieve optimum acoustics    
  • Model render    
  • Materials board    

Phase 2 of the Wales Millennium Centre, providing accommodation for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, including an orchestral recording studio, performance studio, educational and rehearsal spaces, and supporting facilities

Hoddinott Hall is a hybrid of recording studio and concert hall able to accommodate an orchestra of up to 110 musicians and a chorus of up to 120 voices.

As well as providing optimum acoustics for musical recordings, the hall is large enough to dissipate loud noise levels that could, over time, impair the musicians’ hearing. It also incorporates sound reflectors that allow them to appreciate the sounds they are creating, as well as clear-glazed windows to supply natural daylight and seating for 350 people, to give genuine audience feedback.

Audience seating is partially on a fixed, raked tier and partially on the flat floor. The entire audience enters at the rear of the room at second floor level and wheelchair access to the auditorium is provided. The hall is finished in natural timber, and a band room is provided for rest breaks during rehearsal or recording sessions.


  • Begun: Apr 2007
  • Completed: Sep 2008
  • Floor area: 4,030m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Funding: Private
  • Procurement: Design and build
  • Address: Bute Place, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF10 5AL‎, United Kingdom

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