From 2016 to 2018 the Music Hall building was again transformed and renovated for a new generation. The £8.7 million project included extensive underground excavation work to expand the basement, freeing up space on the ground floor for a new studio performance space, cafe and bar. The box office has also been relocated and a creative learning studio has been created. For the first time in its history, the 200-year-old building has three lifts, allowing access from basement to balcony for people with restricted mobility. Aberdeen Performing Arts chief executive Jane Spiers said the “once-in-a-generation” project had presented huge structural challenges to the team.
“I am pleased to say that we have successfully overcome these challenges thanks to amazing feats of structural engineering, creative workarounds, an expert team passionate about the project and good project management. We are happy to be able to invest in the cultural life of the city in this way.”
I’m Brian McGuiness, I’m the contracts manager for Kier Construction in the north.
I hope this little footage that we’ve been put together with APA demonstrates our commitment to the project and gives you an insight into what we’ve had to achieve throughout the challenges in the building.
The sequencing of work was that we had drill the concrete and the rebar that was part of the ring beam that was holding the building together. You could not take that out without having to drill - core drill it - in every three hundred millimeters, and then burst the cores to allow it to separate.
And that was done in a - same again - in a sequence of works that allowed us to safely prop the building up as well. So we had three squads of drillers in the ground at the same time, doing what their activities were and then removing the remit, which was thirty two mil bars and concrete from the area with the winching systems you see, and tonne excavator machines to the skips.
All timely exercises, but the only way possible of doing it due to the complexity of the building and no one wants to bring down the music hall! And that was our biggest concern, that we made sure that it was done safely.
As an Aberdonian, with an AB postcode, my family and friends for years to come will obviously be made aware of the amazing feat that we’ve achieved in getting this building a) to a, in a position where performers from all over the world will want to come and perform in it, and b) that it’s gonna have such a substantial place in Aberdeen, on the main street, of Union Street, in the city.
Thanks to Brian McGuiness and Kier Construction Ltd.