Bridgewater Hall

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The Bridgewater Hall
The Bridgewater
Bridgewater Hall in 2008.jpg
AddressThe Bridgewater Hall
Lower Mosley Street
Manchester
M2 3WS
Location Manchester, England
Operator SMG Europe [1]
Type Concert hall
Capacity 2,341
Construction
Built1993–1996
Opened11 September 1996
Website
www.bridgewater-hall.co.uk

The Bridgewater Hall is a concert venue in Manchester city centre, England. It cost around £42 million [2] to build and currently hosts over 250 performances a year.

Concert live performance of music

A concert is a live music performance in front of an audience. The performance may be by a single musician, sometimes then called a recital, or by a musical ensemble, such as an orchestra, choir, or band. Concerts are held in a wide variety and size of settings, from private houses and small nightclubs, dedicated concert halls, arenas and parks to large multipurpose buildings, and even sports stadiums. Indoor concerts held in the largest venues are sometimes called arena concerts or amphitheatre concerts. Informal names for a concert include show and gig.

Manchester city centre central business district of the City of Manchester, England

Manchester city centre is the central business district of Manchester, England, within the boundaries of Trinity Way, Great Ancoats Street and Whitworth Street. The City Centre ward had a population of 17,861 at the 2011 census.

Contents

The hall is home to The Hallé orchestra, and is the primary concert venue for the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. The building sits on a bed of 280 springs, which help reduce external noise.

The Hallé English symphony orchestra based in Manchester

The Hallé is an English symphony orchestra based in Manchester, England. It supports a choir, youth choir, youth training choir, children's choir and a youth orchestra, and releases its recordings on its own record label, though it has occasionally released recordings on Angel Records and EMI. Since 1996 the orchestra has been resident at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.

The venue is named after the Third Duke of Bridgewater who commissioned the eponymous Bridgewater Canal that crosses Manchester, although the hall is situated on a specially constructed arm of the Rochdale Canal. [3]

Francis Egerton, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater British noble

Francis Egerton, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, known as Lord Francis Egerton until 1748, was a British nobleman from the Egerton family. He was the youngest son of the 1st Duke. He did not marry, and the dukedom expired with him, although the earldom was inherited by a cousin, Lieutenant-General John Egerton.

Bridgewater Canal canal

The Bridgewater Canal connects Runcorn, Manchester and Leigh, in North West England. It was commissioned by Francis Egerton, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, to transport coal from his mines in Worsley to Manchester. It was opened in 1761 from Worsley to Manchester, and later extended from Manchester to Runcorn, and then from Worsley to Leigh.

Rochdale Canal

The Rochdale Canal is a navigable broad canal in Northern England, between Manchester and Sowerby Bridge, part of the connected system of the canals of Great Britain. Its name refers to the town of Rochdale, in Greater Manchester, through which it passes.

History

Proposals to replace the concert venue in the Free Trade Hall existed since it was damaged in the Second World War [4] but the hall, which was home to The Hallé orchestra was repaired and renovated. Despite being a popular venue, the Free Trade Hall, built in the 1850s, had poor acoustics. Throughout the 1970s and 80s several schemes to replace it were considered but the project became more likely in 1988 after the creation of the Central Manchester Development Corporation. [4]

Free Trade Hall public hall constructed in 1853–6 on St Peters Fields, the site of the Peterloo Massacre and is now a Radisson hotel

The Free Trade Hall on Peter Street, Manchester, England, was a public hall, constructed in 1853–56 on St Peter’s Fields, the site of the Peterloo Massacre. It is now a Radisson hotel.

Acoustics science that deals with the study of all mechanical waves in gases, liquids, and solids including vibration, sound, ultrasound and infrasound

Acoustics is the branch of physics that deals with the study of all mechanical waves in gases, liquids, and solids including topics such as vibration, sound, ultrasound and infrasound. A scientist who works in the field of acoustics is an acoustician while someone working in the field of acoustics technology may be called an acoustical engineer. The application of acoustics is present in almost all aspects of modern society with the most obvious being the audio and noise control industries.

Central Manchester Development Corporation

The Central Manchester Development Corporation was established in 1988 to develop parts of eastern Manchester. Its flagship developments included the Bridgewater Hall concert auditorium. During its lifetime 1.5 m sq.ft. of non-housing development and 2,583 housing units were built. Around 4,944 new jobs were created and some £303m of private finance was leveraged in. Circa 86 acres (350,000 m2) of derelict land was reclaimed and 1.3 miles (2.1 km) of new road and footpaths put in place.

In the 1990s, land east of Lower Mosley Street and north of Great Bridgewater Street adjacent to the G-Mex exhibition centre (now Manchester Central Convention Complex) which was occupied by a former bus station and car park near the Rochdale Canal was identified as the site for a new hall. A competition inviting architects to present designs for the new concert hall was launched and a proposal by Renton Howard Wood Levin (RHWL) architects was chosen. [4] The development included the construction of a basin on a specially built short arm of the Rochdale Canal and part of the Manchester & Salford Junction Canal providing a waterfront setting for the hall. [5] [6]

Manchester Central Convention Complex

Manchester Central Convention Complex is an exhibition and conference centre converted from the former Manchester Central railway station in Manchester, England.

The Bridgewater Hall held its first concert on 11 September 1996 and was officially opened on 4 December by Queen Elizabeth II, alongside the Duke of Edinburgh. The Bridgewater Hall was one of a number of structures built in the 1990s that symbolised the transition to a new and modern Manchester following de-industrialisation and the 1996 bombing. [4]

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh Member of the British Royal Family, consort to Queen Elizabeth II

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, is the husband of Queen Elizabeth II.

1996 Manchester bombing Terrorist attack

The 1996 Manchester bombing was an attack carried out by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) on Saturday 15 June 1996. The IRA detonated a 1,500-kilogram (3,300 lb) Lorry bomb on Corporation Street in the centre of Manchester, England. The biggest bomb detonated in Great Britain since World War II, it targeted the city's infrastructure and economy and caused devastating damage, estimated by insurers at £700 million – only surpassed by the 2001 September 11 attacks and the 1993 Bishopsgate bombing in terms of financial cost.

The Bridgewater was well received and won a number of awards. In November 1996, only months after opening, the concert hall won the RIBA North West award. [7] In 1998 the Hall won the Civic Trust Special Award, [8] which is given to a building which enhanced the appearance of a city centre.

Structure

Bridgewater Hall overlooks the Rochdale Canal Bridgewater Hall Basin Manchester 4618.JPG
Bridgewater Hall overlooks the Rochdale Canal
Interior Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, September 2016 (02).JPG
Interior
Main auditorium interior, showing the pipe organ. Manchester-hidden-spaces-workshop 06.09.2014 0738.jpg
Main auditorium interior, showing the pipe organ.
Vibration dampers / isolation bearings underneath the main auditorium. Manchester-hidden-spaces-workshop 06.09.2014 0773.jpg
Vibration dampers / isolation bearings underneath the main auditorium.

Construction of the hall was a joint venture between Manchester City Council and the Central Manchester Development Corporation who obtained funding from the European Regional Development Fund [5] The architects were RHWL and the builders were John Laing. [9] The acoustics were designed by Rob Harris of Arup Acoustics; his colleagues at Arup were the building engineers. [7] The Bridgewater Hall can seat 2341 people over four tiers in the auditorium: the stalls, choir circle, circle, and gallery. [10]

The main auditorium sits on a foundation of earthquake-proof isolation bearings that insulate it from noise and vibration from the adjacent road and Metrolink line. [11] The hall's 26,500 tonne superstructure rests on 280 GERB isolation bearings consisting of rows of steel springs between concrete piers. Bridgewater Hall is the first concert hall built with this technology. [5]

The structure is mostly formed from solid, reinforced concrete, moulded and cast like a vast sculpture. [4] The auditorium has a double-skinned roof with a stainless steel outer shell. [5] The lower part of the hall is built of deep red sandstone from Corsehill Quarry in Annan, the upper walls are clad in aluminium and glass. The interior uses Jura limestone.

Organ

Inside the hall, the focal point is a £1.2 million [1] pipe organ with 5500 pipes and four manuals, [12] built by Marcussen & Son, which dominates the auditorium, covering the rear wall with wood and burnished metal. At the time of construction, the organ was the largest instrument to be installed in the UK for a century. [13]

Barbirolli Square

On the plaza outside is the "Ishinki Touchstone", a sculpture by Kan Yasuda made of polished Italian Carrara marble which is white streaked with bluish-grey. The stone weighs 18 tonnes and was installed in August 1996. Its £200,000 cost was financed by the Arts Council, Lottery Fund, Manchester Airport and Manchester City Council. To prevent vandalism, the stone is coated with an anti-graffiti solution. [14] [15] [16]

Beside the main entrance is a sculpture of Sir John Barbirolli by Byron Howard (2000). [17]

Usage

Since its opening on 11 September 1996, it has been the home of the Hallé Orchestra, the Hallé Choir and the Manchester Boys Choir, and is a regular venue for concerts by the BBC Philharmonic and Manchester Camerata. From September 2002 it has been home to the Hallé Youth Orchestra and Youth Choir, founded for musicians under the age of nineteen who are not in full-time musical education.

As well as concerts, the Bridgewater Hall hosts conferences and events for external parties such as annual presentation evenings. Manchester Metropolitan University has held its graduation ceremony in the hall in July each year since the early 2000s. The Open University also holds one of its Graduate Ceremonies at the hall each year.

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 "The Bridgewater Hall". SMG Europe. Archived from the original on 1 February 2013. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
  2. "Bridgewater Hall: 10 Years, Page 1". BBC News. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
  3. Welch, Adrian (17 April 2010). "Bridgewater Hall Manchester". e-architect. Archived from the original on 26 June 2019. Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 "The Bridgewater Hall – History and Architecture". Bridgewater Hall. Archived from the original on 2011-09-25. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Bridgewater Hall, Manchester University, archived from the original on 2009-03-06, retrieved 2011-10-13
  6. Hartwell, Clare (2001). Manchester. Pevsner Architectural Guides. London: Penguin. pp. 145, 147. ISBN   0 14 071131 7.
  7. 1 2 "Arup – Bridgewater Hall". Arup. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
  8. "RHWL architectsBridgewater Hall", Bridgewater Hall, archived from the original on 2011-04-25, retrieved 2011-10-13
  9. Ritchie, p. 180
  10. "Bridgewater Hall: 10 Years – Page 2". BBC. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
  11. "The quietest room in the world". BBC News. 27 August 2009. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
  12. "The Bridgewater Hall Organ". YouTube . Bridgewater for All. 23 September 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  13. "Bridgewater Hall: 10 Years – Page 5". BBC. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
  14. Bridgewater Hall, Manchester Metropolitan University, archived from the original on 12 March 2012, retrieved 12 December 2011
  15. Ishinki Touchstone, Manchester Art Gallery, retrieved 4 January 2012
  16. Ishinki-Touchstone, Public Monument and Sculpture Association, archived from the original on 23 June 2007, retrieved 4 January 2012
  17. John Barbirolli, Manchester Art Gallery, retrieved 28 April 2012

Sources

Coordinates: 53°28′31″N2°14′45″W / 53.47528°N 2.24583°W / 53.47528; -2.24583