Happy Holidays from Charcoalblue

From all of us here at Charcoalblue, we wish you a safe and happy holiday. Thank you to our brilliant team and our inspirational clients who have filled this year with wonderful opportunities and memories. Here's to a prosperous New Year for all!


Christmas 2016 tile twitter


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Charcoalblue are proud to sponsor the VAULT Festival

In a new partnership, Charcoalblue will sponsor the Awards evening of London's premier arts festival, VAULT. The festival, held annually at the Waterloo Vaults, will this year expand to surrounding venues to allow it to stage its largest programme of events yet. Held between January 25th and March 5th, the festival is a six-week showcase of rising performance stars from the worlds of music, theatre and comedy.


'Charcoalblue are building a future for the hundreds of artists who participate in VAULT by supporting the annual Festival Award,' said Festival Director Tim Wilson. 'We're proud to welcome their expertise and generosity to the melting pot of creativity in 2017's programme. Thanks to Andy and all the CBL team for supporting the venue's creation this year.'


'Charcoalblue are proud to support the VAULT Festival, a highlight of London's cultural calendar,' remarked Charcoalblue Managing Director Andy Hayles. 'VAULT Festival is a crucial platform, hosting a selection of the UK and Overseas' most daring and innovative performance groups and practitioners. Whether it's music, comedy or drama, this festival, set amongst the unique architecture of the Waterloo Vaults, is an important showcase of London's creatve credentials.'


Tickets for the VAULT Festival are on sale here.

 V17 Twitter Card


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A Royal Opening for the Queen Elisabeth Hall

Last week saw the official opening of the new Queen Elisabeth Hall in Antwerp, Belgium. Now the new home to the Royal Flemish Philharmonic orchestra, designed by SimpsonHaugh Architects it has been a seven-year, largescale re-building project with the aim of making it one of the finest spaces for music anywhere in the  world.


Our Senior Consultant Paul Franklin attended the Royal Gala, welcoming Queen Mathilde of Belgium to the building. As well as assisting the architects on the design of the principal room, Charcoalblue advised on the general planning of the building and designing the theatrical systems - stagelighting, audiovisual and stage engineering.


The entire project is due to complete in early 2017. Watch a video from the opening night below.



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A Double Win at the 2017 Civic Trust Awards

We're delighted to hear that two of our recently completed projects, Brighton College's Music School and HOME Manchester, have been awarded Civic Trust Awards.

The Civic Trust Awards exist to celebrate outstanding architecture, planning and design in the built environment. 


HOME Manchester, designed by Mecanoo Architecten, is an ambitious centre for art, film and theatre. Charcoalblue contributed towards the design of the performance spaces and specialist theatre technical systems required throughout the building.


Brighton College's Music School, designed by Eric Parry Architects, is a gorgeous new addition to one of Britain's most successful independent schools. Charcoalblue worked closely with the architects to develop the design of the recital hall, as well as designing the specialist stagelighting, audiovisual and equipment rigging systems throughout the building.


Brighton College Music School Photographer Daniel Shearing 6


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Tonic Theatre

Last week we visited the Globe's stunning Sam Wanamaker Playhouse to attend Tonic Theatre's latest 'Tonic Celebrates' event honouring inspirational women in theatre. On the panel sharing their career highlights and lessons were Globe Artistic Director Emma Rice, playwright Tanika Gupta and the founders of combat choreographers RC Annie.


Tonic Theatre exists to research and challenge inequality in the theatre industry and regularly hold events championing voices from diverse corners of the performing arts. For more from Tonic Theatre, visit their site here.


Tonic 1 of 1


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This year Charcoalblue will exhibit at Theatrecraft for the very first time. Theatrecraft is a one day exhibition aimed at 16-25 year olds interested in a career in the non-performance side of theatre. From costume design to marketing, some of the top organisations and figures in the industry will be in attendance to offer support, guidance and inspiration to the next generation of theatre superstars.


Charcoalblue will be on hand to discuss life and work as a Theatre Consultant in the hope of encouraging more fledging theatre makers to consider a career in the fields of theatre design, acoustics and digital design. We'll also be hosting a workshop and 'Ask The Experts' panel to further shed light on what we do.

The event is free to visitors and is held at London's Waldorf hotel. For more visit the Theatrecraft website.


Exhibitor Twitter Banner


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The World Trade Center's Performing Arts Center revealed

The final piece of the World Trade Center master plan in New York has been unveiled - a new home for theatre, dance, music, film and opera. The Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center, designed by REX architects with Charcoalblue’s New York and London studios, will house three auditoria, a rehearsal space, restaurant, bars and public areas. Set to open in 2020, the centre will have a strong community focus and will foster a new generation of experimental and original creators.


At almost 90,000 square feet, the building includes three performance spaces, seating 499, 250 and 99. Flexibility is at the core of the scheme with each of the three individual spaces designed to be reconfigured and combined in several formats to accommodate intimate theatre, contemporary dance, small scale opera, cinema and immersive events as well as seated and standing concerts.


‘We're so proud to be working on the Perelman. Not just for the innovation packed into the building OR the dynamic collaboration with our talented colleagues at REX, but because of our visionary client honouring this special place by bringing art there. It will be a destination theatre for exciting work that can't be seen anywhere else.’


Andy Hales, Managing Partner - Charcoalblue


Click here to read more about it.


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Hull New Theatre Refurb

Sewel Construction group have posted some great films illustrating work refurbishing Hull New theatre available to watch



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Hardelot on DeZeen

Interesting article posted by Eleanor Gibson about the Hardelot in France. Included are a full spectrum of phots and architectural drawings. Read the full article here.

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Ronald Perelman donates to the Arts Complex at World Trade Center

Ronald Perelman has kindly donated $75million towards the new Arts Complex at World Trade Center, also the name of the building is revealed! Read the full article here.

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This week our New York Studio attended the annual NATEAC conference in Manhattan. The North American Theatre, Engineering and Architecture Conference brings together the most prominent figures and organisations working in performance space design.


Our New York Studio Principal John Owens was invited to speak on a panel entitled 'The Lobby: Public Space, private place or part of the show?'. Why not read about our latest theatre design projects here.





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Hardelot 'Hard Hat Concert'

Charcoalblue Senior consultant and Head of Acoustics, Byron Harrison travelled to France this week to attend the 'Hard Hat Concert' at Theatre Elizabethain du Chateau d'Hardelot. The program which consisted of music and drama in both French and English was a chance for many of the team involved to celebrate the finished theatre and experience it's full Shakespearean grandeur from the house.










The Guardian Review - Chateau d'Hardelot

Here we have found a wonderful and interesting review by Rowan Moore at The Guardian newspaper depicting the Chateau d'Hardelot! Read what he thinks of it


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HOME Manchester wins a National RIBA Award

Our own HOME Manchester pick up a National RIBA Award, absolutely fantastic!




Hardelot Vandalised!

France's Hardelot has been vandalised one week before it was due to open, read the full article


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St Ann's Gala

Senior Partners Andy Hayles and Jon Stevens joined members of the Charcoalblue NY studio (Clemeth Abercrombie pictured right) to take part in a celebration gala hosted by Susan Feldman at the award winning SAW this week.




Luminato at the Hearn

More great press about Charcoalblue and PARTISANS collaboration on bringing the Luminato Festival to The Hearn.


Article here.

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First Night Riders 2016

Various members of Charcoalblue will be taking part in this years Magical Mystery Tour in aid of the Theatrical Guild.


Check out all the highlights and support this wonderful charity! 




First Night Riders



Ian Stickland - Technological Revolution

Ian Stickland talks to Nick Smurthwaite about how screens and sensors can connect an audience to a show.


The Stage

You can also download the article here.


Luminato Festival - The Hearn

Read here how Charcoalblue and Partisan Projects are overseeing the installation of the 16 day Luminato festival into the Hearn Generating station.


Article here.

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