The Practice was originally commissioned to create a decant building which would act as a trigger to enable future development within the college to be undertaken in a structed manner and eliminate the requirement for temporary accommodation.
The location of the project was not defined so a feasibility study was undertaken to identify potential sites. These were reduced to 3 options and discussed with the local authority.
Once a preferred site was determined, the brief was amended to the provision of a new Art Faculty to replace the existing outdated accommodation and combine disciplines currently occupying separate buildings with the additional provision of a gallery space and external display space.
The site was challenging due to its proximity to the southern boundary and its slope of more than 3m across its length towards the road.
The design responds to the slope by cutting into it and utilising the below ground space for art storage. This has the benefit of reducing the apparent height of the building by a storey when viewed from the rest of the campus.
The building form is layered horizontally. It is set back at first floor level from east to west to reduce the impact from the south and east and planting is utilised at upper ground floor level to soften the profile. Materials are chosen to reflect the colouration of the existing houses, with red masonry and dark stained timber cladding to the first floor which gives the appearance of a roof.
The flat roof contains north facing roof lights to provide glare free daylight to the art studios below and photovoltaic panels are included to the south.
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