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First look at Design Engine’s Arts University Bournemouth scheme

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Design Engine has revealed the second phase of its transformation of the Arts University Bournemouth’s Wallisdowne Campus in Poole 

ARCHITECT’S VIEW • PROJECT DATA

The 1,056m2 photography building extends the department’s space from the adjacent building. 

The £3.6 million four-storey scheme includes a 120-seat lecture theatre, digital computer teaching suites, a social learning hub, tutorial and seminar rooms and a staff common room and café. 

At the ground floor the building connects to existing spaces through a new entrance with a foyer and exhibition gallery. 

The project was recently shortlisted for a RIBA South West Regional Award alongside the practice’s Student Services Building and Peter Cook’s drawing studio at the university. 

Photography Building, Arts University Bournemouth by Design Engine Architects

Photography Building, Arts University Bournemouth by Design Engine Architects

Source: Nick Kane

Architect’s view 

This was a challenging brief, given the plot dictated by the existing building. The solution took advantage of external level changes to form the tiered lecture theatre, whilst permitting connections into the existing building at upper floors, to improve the legibility of circulation beyond the new extension. 

We were able to add value to the brief, providing a foyer, gallery, breakout and atrium spaces, which realised the potential to define a new main entrance to the larger existing building beyond. Together with the feature staircase, these provide a dynamic movement through the building for users, and spaces for exhibition of creative work. 

Glass vertical fins shade the west façade, which filters light and air to the interior whilst allowing views out, to what will become a new public square in future. Representations of apertures are digitally printed onto the glass plates in a reference to photographic processes old and new. 

Photography Building, Arts University Bournemouth by Design Engine Architects

Photography Building, Arts University Bournemouth by Design Engine Architects

Source: Nick Kane

Project data 

Location Wallisdown, Poole
Type of project higher education
Architect Design Engine
Structural engineer AKS Ward
Client Arts University Bournemouth
M&E consultant AVUS Consulting
Quantity surveyor Capita
Planning supervisor Turley
Landscape architect Hyland Edgar Driver (HED)
Main contractor Morgan Sindall
Funding private
Tender date March 2014
Start on site date June 2014
Contract duration September 2015
Gross internal floor area 1,056m2
Form of contract and/or procurement Design & Build
Total cost £3.6 million
Annual CO2 emissions 12.42kg/year

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