The Arts Factory is a predominantly steelframed structure with three main elements: the theatre hall, the library and the community room. The theatre hall is an uncompromising 50 x 17 x 12m steel-framed structure containing a 220-seat theatre, a café, rehearsal rooms and office areas, including the new offices of the National Theatre of Scotland. The roof of the theatre is a composite steel and concrete deck (for acoustic purposes), supported by steel trusses which also provide support to the equipment gantries above the auditorium.
The library roof is supported by a 'forest' of slender tubular steel columns. At the head of each column is a circular rooight. The main roof beams are connected either side of the rooight to a vertical steel plate at the head of the column. The vertical plate maximises the amount of natural light entering the building through each of the rooights and also gives the perception of lightness to the visible elements of the roof structure. The community room is a meeting area designed as a selfcontained element, which was originally conceived as a treehouse above the library road, and sits between the college and the theatre and linked to both by a slender concrete bridge. The bridge also contributes to the lateral stability of the structure, which is inherently unstable due to the random arrangement of raking columns providing vertical support. The structure was analysed using 3D computer modelling software and the oor slab designed using grillage analyses.