Snape, Suffolk

Renowned as the home of the annual Aldeburgh Festival, Snape Maltings offers a highly unique and scenic environment for the performing arts. Situated on the banks of the River Alde in a low-lying landscape near the Suffolk Coast, the site contains a collection of buildings many of which were originally used as malt houses. In 1948, drawn to Suffolk’s atmospheric setting, the composer Benjamin Britten founded the Aldeburgh Festival in the nearby seaside town of the same name. By 1967, a permanent home was created for the Festival with the Snape Maltings Concert Hall taking pride of place in a Victorian malthouse converted by Arup Associates. Subsequent additions over the years would add new studios, a smaller orchestral venue, rehearsal studios and a library.

In 2015, the charity Aldeburgh Music acquired ownership of the entire site, including a number of vacant and underutilised neighbouring buildings. The organisation also relaunched in 2016 as a new entity, Snape Maltings, and thus commissioned a masterplan to help manage future needs and deliver on its aspiration to create a creative campus that will thrive for decades to come.

The masterplan identifies new spaces for music studios, onsite accommodation for visiting artists and residencies, a National Centre for Music and Wellbeing, a heritage experience centre, spaces for creative and cultural businesses and an improved overall public realm and circulation areas. There are recommendations for possible new interventions as well as where older buildings can be adapted in ways that will preserve their integrity while meeting future needs. Proposed new foci will strengthen and rationalise the organisation of uses and improve connections within and beyond the site whilst enhancing the enjoyment of the surrounding landscape. Furthermore, a comprehensive strategy for mobility aims to relieve pressure on the core site, improving access and walkability, strengthening the presence of entrance thresholds, all of which will enable Snape Maltings to be better appreciated by all participants.

All the recommendations weave together to build a holistic and long-term strategy for the site – one which enhances the visitor experience, expands its capacity and builds on the found character of this special cultural destination.


Snape Maltings
Allies and Morrison
Landscape architect
The Landscape Partnership
Landscape consultant
Tom Stuart-Smith Ltd
Ecology consultant
Abrehart Ecology Ltd
Transport planning consultant
Phil Jones Associates
Structure and civil engineers
Price & Myers
Quantity surveyors
Bristow Johnson & Partners
Service engineers
TGA Consulting Engineers
Principal designer advisor
PFB Construction Management Services Ltd


Site area
11 hectares
Snape, Suffolk