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Niall McLaughlin’s Arc in Hull to be auctioned off

The Arc, designed by London-based practice Niall McLaughlin Architects and one of Hull’s most striking buildings, is to be auctioned next month

The £750,000 building was built from five upturned caravans and includes 16 wind turbines, 24 solar panels and a biomass boiler. Officially known as the Humber Centre for Excellence in the Built Environment, the city-centre building which was completed in early 2006 has been used as an exhibition centre for design and architectural innovation.

But Arc – the charity which ran the centre – has been closed due to lack of funding and has put the building up for auction.

Niall McLaughlin, director of Niall McLaughlin Architects, said: ‘It’s surprising it stayed for so long on the same site, as the intention was that it would move every three to four years around Hull. The organisation which owned it didn’t own a site, so other community associations would provide them with space, but [in its location at the Hull Marina] it had a good profile, so decided to stay there.’

Speaking about the closure of the charity, McLaughlin said: ‘It’s sad that the charity has had to close. It was a great organisation put together by fantastically idealistic and practical people in Hull to engage local government, developers, designers and local people to open up debate about the built environment.’

He added: ‘The building was designed to be entirely moveable, reusable and recyclable, designed to be in different places and to be different things. I am just looking forward to seeing where it springs up next.’

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