The design and construction of the Void Building at the Royal Academy of Music, London, met three key client requirements. First, it has added a new general music practice room and opera practise room – the latter a new kind of space at RAM, whose students have often had to practise in corridors and even lavatories. Secondly, the design connects the new building with an existing building, but is potentially extendable, or removable. Thirdly, the design had to respond very sensitively to planning issues associated with the listed buildings in the Conservation Area around it.The site was a left-over and irregular space tightly hemmed in on three sides by the backs of buildings. Listed buildings next to or near the Void Building include the Grade II-listed Royal Academy of Music, the Grade I 1-5 York Gate, the Grade II 42-48 York Terrace East, including the Jack Lyons Theatre. The Void butts up against the listed RAM building and is connected to it. JMP’s design superseded an earlier proposal that would have required a significant amount of demolition of existing building fabric around the site. It thereforeaddressed English Heritage’s concerns, and supports the original townscape objectives set out in 1811 by John Nash, in what is now the Regent’s Park Conservation Area. At the back of 42-48 York Terrace East, JMP replaced anunsightly link building and a first floor window was covered, but encased and fully preserved, enhancing the listed structure.The structure of the Void Building is held slightly away from the listed structures around it and only connects to the western circulation area of the Jack Lyons Theatre. Apart from the penetration of two columns into secondary rooms in the existing RAM building, the Void’s structure is independent. Furthermore, it can be extended or demounted as required in the future.The Void Building’s form, language and materiality is derived from its historic setting and its internal functions. The Royal Academy of Music and surrounding buildings are diverse in architectural style and materials with stucco, red brick and Baroque stone trimmings. The selection of the new building’s façade and roof material, a continuous envelope using an innovative panel system designed by JMP, responded to its setting: its vividly contemporary angular form is sheathed in bronze whose colouration relates to the old red bricks of the adjacent 1911 building, and the red brick of the Jack Lyons Theatre. After oxidisation, its reddish brown will have grey and blue undertones that refer to the rear extensions of York Terrace.The Void Building was delivered strictly to its £1.3m budget, and in less than four months in two build periods to avoid disrupting academic timetables. The pre-construction programme involved pre-planning consultations with Westminster Borough Council and Howard de Walden Estates.