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The Royal Academy of Music is alive with the sound of drills

Ever heard opera singing, trombones playing and drilling happening all at the same time?

Those were the unusual harmonies we were treated to on site with Osborne at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

“One student wanted to record all the sounds of a construction site: the drilling, the banging, the hammering,” says project director Phil Jones. “They were going to make a composition out of it.”

Looks like the contractor could inspire a symphony to rival Beethovan as it builds the Royal Academy of Music’s new theatre – which will be one of the largest orchestra spaces in Europe.

Two ladies have come to see the types of employment opportunities that construction could offer – and are surprised by what roles were on offer.

“It’s good to hear about the opportunities on offer,” says one. “It’s certainly different.”

We’re treated to a crash course in bricklaying at the end of the tour. (see video)

Everyone chooses their pile of bricks, mound of muck and implement of choice and sets to work making miniature walls.

Osborne Royal Academy of Music 3

Osborne Royal Academy of Music 3

“It’s great fun,” says one lady while slapping muck onto her line of red bricks. “I’ve never done anything like this.”

As everyone looks round at their miniature wonky brick walls in comparison to the newly built, poker straight walls surrounding us, we get a real insight into the level of skill that is required to put together a technically challenging building such as this.

“Who won?” asks director of strategy and communications Caroline Compton-Janes, while one girl puts her hand up.

We can still hear violins playing, singing and the clatterings coming from the construction site as we down tools for the day.

Project: Royal Academy of Music theatre
Contractor: Osborne
Major subcontractors: Macai Projects (Frame contractor/ ground works/ general builder), Bradgate (Mechanical Services) Push The Button (specialist theatre electrical services), James Johnson Joinery (Specialist Joinery), Glantre (special theatre stage engineering), SSC (Structural Steelwork), SSL (architectural metalwork), All Metal Roofing (envelope cladding), Novum (architectural glazing)
Client: Royal Academy of Music
Contract value: £12.2m

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