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The Arts Space, Hereford College of Arts by Hewitt Studios

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A glulam timber frame and locally sourced timber cladding were used for this specialist arts college

The architect’s view

As a specialist arts college, the client demanded an innovative, design-led solution that would act as a fitting backdrop to the work of the students. The project delivers much-needed café, exhibition and administration space in a striking new volume that is both dynamic and sustainable.

In keeping with the green agenda, the structure is formed of glulam and mass timber while the space is naturally ventilated and daylit. A reflective pool is used to both animate the space and mediate sunlight.

Externally, the building is clad in a combination of local timber and anodised aluminium panels, subtly reflecting its immediate environment. A comprehensive landscape scheme roots the building to the site and creates a series of external social and exhibition spaces.

  • Paul Younger, associate, Hewitt Studios

Project data

Start on site April 2011
Completion December 2011
Gross internal floor area 360m²
Procurement Two-stage Design and Build
Construction cost £920,000
Construction cost per m² £2,556
Architect Hewitt Studios
Client Hereford College of Arts
Structural engineer Integral Engineering Design
M&E engineer Hicks Titley Partnership
Project manager/quantity surveyor/CDM coordinator Ridge and Partners
Lighting designer The Lighthouse Design Partnership
Landscape architect B:D Landscape
Approved building inspector Bath and North East Somerset Council (plans), Herefordshire Council (inspection)
Main contractor Kier Moss
CAD software used Vectorworks
Annual CO2 emissions 38.88kg/m²

Specified products

Laminated timber frame

Schilliger Holz cross-laminated timber deck and glue-laminated timber columns. Visual grade spruce with clear matt Class 0 treatment.


External timber slat cladding

Sawn and planed untreated English cedar

Internal timber slat cladding

Sawn, planed and sanded English ash with clear matt lacquer finish

Timber board cladding

Scandinavian dark-stained, birch-faced marine plywood

Acoustic panels

Strata felt/PPC aluminium panels manufactured by Hewitt Studios


Curtain walling

Kawneer AA100 with PPC aluminium sections


Poured flooring

Flowcrete Flowshield LXP HD, Goosewing Grey 222



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