The centre piece of the building, which comprises almost 50,000 sq ft of mixed-use space over two storeys plus two basement levels, is the 8,000 sq ft revamped music hall with sprung dance floor, eye-catching ‘60s disco ceiling’ and vintage wood-panelled walls.
With a capacity for over 800 people, this intimate venue was the scene of appearances by greats including Jimi Hendrix, The Bee Gees, Status Quo, Chuck Berry, The Kinks, The Who and Jerry Lee Lewis.
The building’s Grade II listing required Russell WBHO to undertake a sensitive restoration and ensure retention of elements of significant interest such as the external glazed curtain walling and internal timber panelling.
• Originally built in 1963 as an extension to the 14-storey New Century House office block, the conference hall was one of the first in the country to feature an external anodised aluminium frame superstructure with opaque glass-panel cladding.
• Internally the building was ahead of its time, with design features and interior treatments that maximised its acoustic properties. Three important pieces of art work – two large sculptured panels in the music hall and a concrete sculptural screen in the entrance area – have been retained and restored.
The entrance and façade on Mayes Street has been refurbished, along with the familiar twin staircase platform on the Dantzic Street elevation which provides a second entrance.