Music Studios within a Listed Building at Dover College

Music Studios into a Listed Building – can this be achieved?
YES of course, if you come to Amadeus Acoustic Solutions.

The Problem:
In 2009, Amadeus met with the Bursar of Dover College in Kent, who explained the problems involved in providing a new music department: a shortage of land or building space other than listed buildings for this vibrant department to go into.

The Solution:
Amadeus introduced the College to the BOXY Modular Music Studio option, able to fit perfectly within the Headmasters house. As it is a listed building specific planning permission had to be obtained, yet because the modular rooms did not touch the actual fabric of the building and can be moved at any time in the future, the planners were happy for the new music department installation to go ahead.

The Headmaster moved into the house next door, and The Tallis Music School was opened by Julian Lloyd Webber in February 2011; Julian commented on how lovely the rooms were and that he would love to have one in his home. We hope so in future – you never know what will happen next!

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The Verdict:

“Dover College being situated in a Scheduled Ancient Monument, the options for creating a new Music School were limited to converting a former residence on the site. From the outset it was clear that creating an acoustically satisfactory environment within a Victorian building was going to prove extremely costly, with no guarantee of success. Consequently, Amadeus were approached to assist in finding a solution.Notwithstanding the challenges presented by meeting current building regulations in the conversion, including strengthening of joists and satisfying the Disability Discrimination Act, Amadeus quickly provided a viable and attractive option through the installation of five acoustic pods in existing rooms. At the design stage they provided invaluable input and, as plans matured, they answered a myriad of technical questions about subjects as diverse as weight loading on floors to appropriate fire alarm systems and ventilation. Their input included suggestions for optimising the layout, resulting in more efficient use of space.

The whole project entailed integrating building works with pod installation so that each element of the programme could proceed without interfering with the other, with all installation work being completed during the summer holidays and with the hope of good weather. The process was complicated by very tight access and the need to transport all of the components up one floor.

When the pre-fabricated parts arrived from Italy, it was raining persistently. However, a quick re-evaluation of the optimum configuration for unloading was soon completed and in short order a tele-loader was removing pallet loads of metal and glass panels onto the front garden. The 4-man team from Italy, led by Claudio Lambrini, the founder and chief engineer of Boxy Lab srl – the manufacturers of the pods – worked twelve hour days with the UK-based staff from Amadeus without let-up (including a bank holiday weekend) to assemble the pods. They integrated seamlessly with the building contractors, who were able to continue their work without interruption.

Throughout, John Locke and Anne Holliday from Amadeus were frequent visitors, trouble-shooting and enabling the swiftest possible completion of the build. In the end, the team was on site for just six days, during which they erected five pods. Only the final wiring, undertaken by a sub-contractor, remained for completion.”
Phillip Barry, Business Manager and Bursar


Many thanks to Dover College for featuring in our Case Study.
Images provided by Amadeus.


It was a remarkable master-class in programming efficiency and, above all, dedication. I am absolutely certain that Dover College's musicians will benefit from and enjoy the state-of-the-art solution that Amadeus and Boxy have provided for our new Music School. The resulting enhancement of our facilities will have far reaching consequences for the school.

Phillip Barry, Business Manager and Bursar | Dover College
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BOXY – Modular Studios and Soundproof Rooms

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