University of Kent


The Colyer-Fergusson Music Building at the University of Kent is part of the dynamic and contemporary Arts complex. The bespoke hall was designed to be a purpose-built, flexible performance space that can accommodate a wide range of musical activities.



Hussey Seatway were delighted to win the bid and worked closely with Tim Ronalds Architects, along with Arup Acoustics and Carr & Angier, on the complex design brief. The seating systems and components were designed and manufactured to suit the architect’s exacting standards. The two banks of retractable seating were designed to allow the hall to be able to accommodate everything from intimate chamber recitals to large-scale choral and orchestral concerts. When functioning at full concert capacity, there is seating for around 400 audience members, a 200-strong chorus, and up to an 80-piece orchestra. Once the retractable units are closed, the hall can accommodate up to six hundred audience/performers combined. We developed a completely custom, high-specification chair for the audience seating, featuring timber arms, outer backrest and seat panels. The chairs have a sophisticated look creating a true theatre feel. Our Club bench seating was selected for the choir and orchestra area and was also customised to a bespoke specification. The Douglas-fir timber fascia boards allow the closed seating systems to seamlessly blend with the room’s dramatic, acoustic wood-panelled walls. There is also a seating gallery that runs around the perimeter of the hall, featuring tread fixed chairs.



The Colyer-Fergusson Music Building at the University of Kent has been recognised for the following awards:

RIBA Regional Award for Architecture

RIBA National Award for Architecture

The Wood Awards: Winner, Commercial & Public Access

Stirling Prize mid-list