University of St Andrews: Laidlaw Music Centre takes Pride of Place

The University of St Andrews Laidlaw Music Centre was voted overall winner in St Andrews Preservation Trust’s Pride of Place Awards.

The scheme, established in 2004, encourages individuals and organisations in St Andrews to take pride in their properties, with awards given for work which promotes quality of design and workmanship. Trust members are invited to propose buildings and an adjudication panel, chaired by the Honorary Life President, Dr Robert Steedman OBE, met to consider the 25 nominations and confer the awards.

The University’s world-leading Music Centre, which was officially opened earlier this year, houses three rehearsal rooms, ten practice rooms, a recording suite, and a library.



Central to the state-of the-art facility is the oak-lined McPherson Recital room, one of the world’s first chamber halls with a moveable floor as well as a 9m reverberation chamber. The impressive moveable floor allows the space to be configured for a variety of performance requirements, from symphony orchestras to chamber music recitals, at the push of a button.

Dr Michael Downes, the University’s Director of Music, said: “The Laidlaw Music Centre was always intended to be a building to be enjoyed and used by the St Andrews community as well as University staff and students, so we are particularly pleased by this award that marks the contribution it makes to the environment of our beautiful town. We are looking forward to sharing the Centre with many more local musicians and audience members now that the pandemic restrictions on music-making are finally over.”

Laidlaw architect Jason Flanagan of Flanagan Lawrence said: “We are delighted that the Laidlaw Music Centre has won a St Andrew’s Preservation Trust Award. It’s a huge honour for us and recognises how the building complements its historic setting, positioned as it is between three listed buildings, and set within an arboretum beside the Ancient Quad.”

The University’s Whitehorn Hall was also name Best Building in the Educational category at the awards, which were presented at St Andrews Bowling Club on May 19 by Dr Steedman, and Mr Sandy Bremner, Chair.

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