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Zaha Hadid opens Peter Cook-designed drawing studio

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Royal Gold Medal winner Zaha Hadid has cut the ribbon on Peter Cook’s sinuous blue drawing studio at Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) 

Designed by Peter Cook’s practice CRAB Studio, the scheme is the first of the Archigram-founder’s buildings to complete in the UK. 

The monocoque structure, which was officially opened yesterday (3 March), is also the first purpose-built drawing studio to be constructed at an art school in more than a century. 

The studio will provide drawing space for students across all courses at the university. 

According to the practice the space has been designed to ‘reflect the central theme of light in the tradition of looking and drawing.’ 

Lit by a large circular rooflight, the building also features a rear clerestory that provides a softer light from the rear wall. 

Cook, commented: ‘As an alumnus of AUB, I am deeply honoured that this University, where I learnt my craft, is now home to my first building in the UK. The studio represents a fundamental recognition of the importance of drawing for all creative subjects.

’When it came to the design of the studio I wanted to ensure I created a space which all students, from all disciplines – be it fashion design, graphic design, fine art, or architecture like me – could make use of and feel inspired in.’ 

Stuart Bartholomew, principal and vice-chancellor of AUB, added: ‘We are delighted that the drawing studio will provide students with a new space in which drawing can be taught and practiced. We are also keen to reassert the centrality of drawing to the subjects we offer. We believe the simplicity of the monocoque construction will allow the act of drawing to become a calm and considered activity within the lively world of a very busy creative institution.

‘AUB is one of the few remaining independent art schools in the UK and we retain much of our original mission as an art school, providing studio-based learning and teaching and progression to the creative industries. What’s more we pride ourselves on producing the ‘thinkers’ and ‘doers’ who have the highest level of employability in the real world.’

The project has been shortlisted for a RIBA South West Regional Award. 

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