Royal College of Music’s More Music Redevelopment

Royal College of Music - facade

Royal College of Music – facade

About the Project

The Royal College of Music building has been a stately presence in South Kensington since its formal opening by the Prince of Wales in 1894. Over the years it has been expanded and extended. The familiar canopy was added to the entrance in the 1920’s and the most recent addition, completed in 1963, contains teaching and practice rooms, a library and extra recital hall.

ITM Monitoring has been called in by main contractor Gilbert-Ash, to assist in the newest building extension for this top institution for performing arts in the UK and Europe* The redevelopment significantly expands upon the RCM’s facilities and will boost its standing as a cultural icon worldwide while still respecting the Victorian heritage of its environment.

Construction Starting Soon

Construction is soon to start on the transformation, with an expected completion date of 2020. The 2,300sq metre development, designed by John Simpson Architects, sits within the Prince Consort Road campus and in the heart of South Kensington; surrounded by fine residences, Imperial College London’s Royal School of Mines (ICL/RSM) and facing the renowned Royal Albert Hall.

The works consist of demolishing the Royal College of Music’s existing museum, corridors and percussion suite, and installing new café, bar and open social space areas with a triple-height atrium, additional student practice rooms, recording control room and two flexible performance venues, with step-free access for all.

Looking towards the existing Royal College of Music building from the parapet with the RTS in place.

Looking towards the existing Royal College of Music building from the parapet with the RTS in place.

An RTS sited on the Royal College of Music looking towards Imperial College London

An RTS sited on the Royal College of Music looking towards Imperial College London

Remote and Manual Monitoring

Now in the summer of 2017, ITM is involved in monitoring the façades of the surrounding buildings using a combined approach of automated 3D movement monitoring by Robotic Total Station (RTS) and prisms, electrolevels and back-up manual readings. Located on the parapets and outer roof areas of nearby buildings, each RTS is mounted on a bespoke bracket. Linked to a data logger with an on board GPRS/3G modem, it can be controlled remotely and data reviewed 24 hours a day via ITM Monitoring’s web-based visualisation software Calyx Online Monitoring Software (OMS)™.

In addition, two automated electrolevel beam installations monitor rotational movement of Imperial College London’s RSM. Additional prism targets are soon to be installed on the ICL’s Advanced Chemical Engineering (ACE) building, as well as the Royal College of Music’s Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall plus the South and Blomfield buildings.

As construction of the pile wall for the new double basement levels progresses, the wall will be monitored at two levels using wireless biaxial tilt meters in seven locations around the perimeter. As the excavation progresses, props will be installed which will be monitored using wireless strain gauges. There is less installation time involved in wireless monitoring and no cables to protect so it results in less expense to the client.

As the construction progresses ITM will continue to monitor the effects of the building work on local buildings, working closely with the client team, Gilbert-Ash.

*According to the QS Word University Rankings 2017.

Instrumentation and Services

Building Monitoring: 3D mini-prism targets, Electrolevels, Robotic Total Stations (RTS)
Pile Wall Monitoring                                            Wireless Tilt Sensors
Prop Strain Monitoring                                       Wireless Strain Gauges
Web-based data presentation software          Calyx Online Monitoring Software (OMS)™