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Launch of New Invited Design Competition: Bird College - Dance, Music & Theatre Performance

31 Aug 11 RIBA Competitions is pleased to announce the launch of a new Invited Design Competition on behalf of Bird College, Sidcup.

Expressions of Interest are sought from architect-led design teams with exceptional design skills for the redevelopment of the College’s facilities.

Bird College is an internationally renowned provider of education and professional training in dance, music and theatre performance.  Bird College prides itself on providing access to world-class training for talented performers with many graduates securing work in America, Europe and beyond.  The relationship and understanding that Bird College enjoys with the industry ensures that its students are well prepared to make a successful transition to fully-fledged professionals and there is a strong presence of Bird College alumni within West End musical theatre.  As well as delivering Degree programmes accredited by the University of Greenwich and a National Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre validated by Trinity College London, Bird College is the provider of music and junior dance services for the London Borough of Bexley.

The College is currently based in buildings over three sites in residential Sidcup which are owned or leased by the Doreen Bird Foundation, and in order to accommodate increased student numbers, additional space is rented in other nearby facilities.  This provides a total of ~4,500m2 of accommodation and results in the College operating from six different places on a daily basis.  The College wishes to improve its facilities to match the best in the sector and create an exciting new teaching and learning resource for the benefit of students, staff and the wider community of Bexley.  Feasibility studies have indicated that a capital project in the region of GBP £13million is possible and the College has identified a wish list for up to 6,000m2 of accommodation.  The appointed design team will work with the College to establish the best use of existing and new buildings, consolidating College facilities on more than one of the existing sites or other(s).

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Following the pre-qualification phase, up to six teams (which will also need to include the services of a structural engineer, M&E engineer and quantity surveyor as a minimum), will be invited to develop possible design approaches for the project.  Each short-listed team will receive an honorarium payment of £5,000 (+VAT) and be invited to present their proposals to a Jury Panel at a final assessment.  The Jury Panel will include representatives from Bird College, together with Laura Lee (CEO of the Maggie’s Centres), Prof. Anthony Bowne (Principal, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance), June Denton (Founder, VThree Ltd) and Greg Penoyre (Penoyre & Prasad LLP) acting as the RIBA Architect Advisor.

Shirley Coen, Principal and Chief Executive of Bird College commented: ‘I am delighted to be working in partnership with the RIBA on this competition to find a design team to help us deliver our vision for the future of Bird College.  This is a thrilling moment in time, for us, and we are excited about not only the end result but the journey that we are embarking upon.  RIBA has been fantastic in helping us this far and I have no doubt will hand hold us all the way to the conclusion’.

Please note that the deadline for receipt of Expressions of Interest is 2.00pm on Wednesday 12 October 2011.          

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