Stowe Music School

A purpose built two storey music building comprising a 250-seater recital hall, recording studio, a fully equipped rock band room, 24 practice rooms, two classrooms and a soundproofed percussion room needed thoughtful acoustic design. Our attention to architectural junction details at the design stage, and our regular site visits to oversee installation led to great results and a very happy client.



  • Stowe, Buckingham, England, UK


  • Stepnell Limited

Project Status

  • Complete

Stowe is a co-educational, full boarding school that caters for approximately 770 pupils aged 13 to 18. The school’s existing music facilities were in need of modernisation and consolidation into one state-of-the-art new music school in the heart of the school’s academic area.

With so many studios right next to each other, meeting the very high acoustic performance requirements was critical to the success of this project. The client also wanted glazing between studios – an acoustically weak element – so achieving the requirements was even more challenging.

A 3D acoustic model of the auditorium was developed to test the various acoustic treatment types and locations available. With alterations to the ceiling finish and height and the façade build-up during the project, we needed to be flexible in our approach and options. Our technical agility meant we were able to keep pace with design changes whilst spotting opportunities for value engineering, reducing the client’s spend on acoustic treatment.

The project was completed in December 2013 and opened with the high praise from the school’s Director of Music, “The acoustics are simply mind-blowing; no matter where you sit, you hear every nuance of dynamic and articulation, which is then captured by the bloom of the ambient acoustics. It is a thrilling space to listen to music”.

This project was awarded the winner of the RIBA South Regional Award, and the judges’ comments reflected the success of WSP’s involvement. “Acoustic performance was an important issue and has been well addressed… Client satisfaction with the project was very high.”