Scott Brownrigg designs UK’s largest new-build film and TV studio

Shinfield Studios, a new £250 million film and TV studio in Reading, Berkshire, designed by Scott Brownrigg has reached completion. The one million sq. ft. studio facility, for US-based independent film and television studio platform Shadowbox Studios, features eighteen sound stages, 38 workshops, a nine-acre filming backlot and over 130,000 sq. ft. of contemporary office space, making it the largest new-build film and TV studio campus in the UK. The studios are set to boost the creative industry in the UK and build on its global reputation for content production.

Ranging in size from 17,000 to 43,000 sq. ft., each of the sound stages at Shinfield Studios are fully climate controlled, flexible in layout, and equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. Each of its soundstages are purpose-built to meet the needs of modern production standards. Multifunctional workshops accommodate a wide range of production requirements, from costume and wardrobe to action vehicles and armoury, and at the heart of the campus, a studio café and canteen provide a place for production teams to come together, and to eat and relax with views over the surrounding countryside.The development began in 2021 and has been designed and delivered in phases. To facilitate speed to market, and critical production schedules being met, working in close collaboration with Curo Construction, 80,000 sq. ft. of studio space was erected and made operational within just six months of the project starting onsite.

To meet highly technical production standards, while enabling speed of construction and minimised disruption to ongoing production, the architects adopted an innovative steel twin wall system for some of the stages. This system allowed the buildings to meet high acoustic values, adapt to differing conditions and reduced the number of trades and materials required onsite. As a result, Shinfield Studios has been built to programme, with productions including Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire already produced at the studios.

Sustainability has been a key driver in the design and delivery of Shinfield Studios, and the complex has been constructed to achieve BREEAM excellent. Alongside greater efficiency onsite, the twin wall structural solution offers a more sustainable alternative to concrete, traditionally used to build studios on this scale, and air source heat pumps and solar panels provide renewable energy sources.

Jason Lebidineuse, Scott Brownrigg Director and Head of Digital, Culture, Media + Sport said: “We are delighted to see this incredible project come to life over the last three years. Our design approach and methodology challenged how studios are designed and built, changing the narrative to help create a more sustainable sector and enabling blockbuster productions to film while construction continued onsite.

Rob Gordon, Integrated Delivery Director at Curo Construction said: “Shinfield Studios represents a significant milestone in the UK’s film and television infrastructure. Through our embrace of sustainable design and construction methods, we’ve created state-of-the-art facilities perfectly suited to the needs of modern film production. Each soundstage was purpose-built and handed over in phases, ensuring minimal disruption and maximum efficiency for Shinfield Studios.”

Now complete, Shinfield Studios is expected to make a significant contribution to both the local community in Berkshire and wider UK creative industry.