Royal International Pavilion, Llangollen

Royal International Pavilion, Llangollen

More than just a Music Festival – Promoting Peace and Understanding through Music.

The Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod was founded in 1947 by Harold Tudor, a local councillor, and a group of music enthusiasts. The festival was established in the aftermath of World War II with the goal of promoting peace and international understanding through the language of music. It sought to bring people from different nations together, providing a platform for cultural exchange, artistic expression, and friendly competition.

The founders of the Llangollen Eisteddfod were inspired by the desire to heal the wounds of war and foster harmony among nations. They believed that music had the power to transcend political and cultural barriers, and they saw the festival as a means to unite people through their shared love for music.

Over the years, the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod has grown in stature and reputation, attracting performers and participants from all corners of the globe. It has become a symbol of cultural diversity, artistic excellence, and international friendship. The festival continues to serve as a platform for musicians, choirs, and dancers to showcase their talents, and it remains committed to its founding principles of promoting peace, understanding, and unity through music.

To create the Pavilion that is the focus of the festival we worked with the Eisteddfod Trust, the local authority and 16 voluntary organisations on all aspects of this project.

Clwyd County Council’s programme for the pavilion was an onerous one. Our brief as Design Team Leader, Architect and Interior Designer was to provide theatre facilities for the annual Summer Music Festival attended by 50,000 people with individual concert attendances of 6,000 people. We were also to create a focal point for community recreation and culture during the time between festivals providing manageable facilities suited to a small Welsh town.

We built the project in a 38-week period (between festivals) on a project funded by a mixture of grant aid and charity work. Our designs have created a landmark building with an instantly recognisable image around the world that is set in the heart of a small-town nestling in a beautiful Welsh valley. The innovative design based on previous experience of fabric engineering technology and tension membrane structures works with a plan that accommodates a core building (the sports/recreation hall) with an adjoining arena (which doubles as a covered football/rugby pitch) and a theatre coupled with purpose- made lightweight aluminium framed temporary extensions to extend seating to 6000. During large events the sports hall becomes back-of-stage and the entrance and exits to the building are reversed.