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Aviva Studios, Manchester


Location Client Completion
Manchester, UK Manchester City Council / Manchester International Festival (MIF) 2023

Project details

Located along Manchester's River Irwell, the 14,000 square meter Aviva Studios is the UK's largest investment in a national cultural project since the opening of Tate Modern in 2000. It has been built to the highest standards of any culture and leisure project in the country to facilitate dance, theatre, music, visual arts and spoken word performances. The space is highly flexible, providing a seamless connection between art and public culture. The building services, acoustics and lighting, provided by BDP, work to combine the front and back of house whilst providing views of the river and biodiverse landscaping beyond.

The heating, cooling and ventilation solutions are dynamic and responsive to adapt to a flexible building with different configurations and event types. BDP employed full computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations of the HVAC systems in the theatre and warehouse to allow the systems to be optimised. A specialist acoustics team assisting to make adjustments that considered the use of the spaces and the building systems. 

The lighting scheme augments the industrial architectural form, while supporting flexibility in the way the spaces can be used. The new lighting regenerates the nighttime aesthetics of the area, connecting the new theatre to the architecture of BDP’s own Ordsall Chord railway bridge and footpath, which sits adjacent and links the river to the centre of the city. It incorporates blues systems, technical grids and house lighting, all of which help the building to properly celebrate international arts and culture.

Integrated services

acoustics, building services engineering, design management, lighting