The project, which was given the go-ahead after fundraisers succeeded in landing £850,000 from a number of sources, aims to revamp a 700m 2former textile mill in the centre of Stroud.
Known as the Stroud Valleys Artspace, the scheme will be split into three phases, the first of which is due to finish in November this year.
This phase of construction is expected to cost around £520,000, with the further two phases thought to total around £180,000 and £250,000 each.
It is hoped the design of the art space will be symbolic of the 'visionary contribution that the centre's artists have made to the local community of Stroud'.
Tony Fretton said: 'When groups of people make a building it is a statement of their solidity and permanence as part of society.
'Since its inception in 1996, Stroud Valleys Artspace has been an active force in the town and its contribution to the culture of Stroud will be made apparent by the architecture that we make on its behalf.'
It is understood Gloucestershire Environmental Trust's recent contribution of £50,000 tipped the balance in favour of the scheme taking place.