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Goldsmiths' chief: ‘We want innovative ideas’

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Goldsmiths head of capital projects Anja Soetbeer discusses plans for a new art gallery at the prestigious south-east London arts college

What is your vision for the Goldsmiths University of London estate?
We have recently started to transform our single-campus site in New Cross with a number of building projects. Our vision is to create a flexible, sustainable campus with visibility of key activities and functions set within an identifiable and coherent public realm. A masterplan has been drawn up by John McAslan + Partners and our estates team – this is in the final stages of development as we continue conversations with Lewisham Council on the overall scheme.

What projects are you currently working on?
We are working on a number of projects including the interior redesign of St James Hatcham, a church building that will be transformed into a space for teaching, exhibitions, performances and studios [by John McAslan + Partners];the renewal of the Richard Hoggart Building [Dannatt Johnson Architects]; music studios at New Cross Road [Fraser Brown MacKenna]; and a café in the Rutherford Building, which houses our library.

What will you be looking for among architects who register for the Laurie Grove Baths art gallery contest?
We are looking for architects who can combine new and inspiring design with a respect of the history of a building.

We’d welcome submissions from young, ambitious practices

We would welcome expressions of interest from young, ambitious practices with experience of the art world context and work on listed buildings.

Which recent gallery projects are you inspired by?
We’d rather look forward and concentrate on our own project than look at existing galleries. Our ambition is to create a gallery that can house a regular exhibition programme of international artists. We expect it to become one of the cultural showcases of south-east London and have a hugely beneficial impact on the life of the university.

What will you be expecting to see in the submissions made by the shortlisted design teams?
We are looking for innovative ideas that connect the old and the new, the internal and external space, and are flexible enough to allow for changes in the way exhibitions develop.

How did you select your judging panel?
We wanted a panel that reflects the ambition of the gallery. We invited key figures – such as David Chipperfield, Antony Gormley and Candida Gertler – who have made a considerable impact in the art and architectural worlds to bring their vast expertise to the judging process.

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Visit the competition website for more information about the Laurie Grove Baths art gallery contest

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