Planning permission granted for a new music space

Planning permission has been granted for the construction of a new music practice and performance space for Trinity Hall. The stone-built Wong Avery Gallery will sit in the centre of Avery Court, on the College’s central Cambridge site, adjacent to several listed buildings including the chapels of both Trinity Hall and Clare College.

Wong Avery Gallery internal design showing a piano in situ, high level shutters and a view onto Avery Court

It will be named the Wong Avery Gallery in recognition of its primary funders, the family of the late Dennis Avery (1980), a Trinity Hall alumnus, benefactor and Honorary Fellow after whom the Court is named. The addition of the new building will greatly improve the College’s offer for students and staff participating in or studying music, and enrich the cultural life of the College as a whole.

The Gallery will be a simple loadbearing construction made of thin stone columns and beams by Níall McLaughlin Architects. It is a composition of cubic forms, with a Greek cross plan-form. Performances will take place in the centre, with audience seating in bay windows at the ends of each arm, the walls of which are lined with shelves to store sheet music. Over the crossing, a glazed lantern brings light into the centre of the building and is lined with acoustic shutters which allow the reverberation time of the space to be finely tuned according to the number of musicians and audience members for each rehearsal or performance. As part of the proposals, the court will be landscaped to designs by Kim Wilkie, with a large paved area surrounded by borders filled with predominantly green shrubs and climbing plants.

The Revd Dr Jeremy Morris, Master of Trinity Hall, says:

“Dennis Avery treasured Trinity Hall, and provided generously for its music and cultural life. The new Wong Avery Gallery is an exciting new development for Avery Court, which will commemorate his legacy and provide a state of the art resource for Trinity Hall’s musical endeavours. We are grateful to the Avery-Tsui Foundation for their support.”

The project is due to start on site during the academic year 2018/19.