AIB Art Workshops

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Client: The Arts Institute at Bournemouth

Location: Fern Barrow

The workshops are a creative hub for making and fabrication at the Arts Institute at Bournemouth. The tight budget and time-frame for construction of the building dictated that the primary structure should be an extremely cost-efficient steel-frame industrial shed. The arrangement of circulation was key to unlocking the brief. All primary circulation is located outside the main building envelope, allowing the creation of an extremely tight plan form. Lightweight eaves, canopies, suspended walkways and the main external staircase enliven the exterior of the workshops; while gabion cage stone walls tie the building into the landscape. The oversailing monopitch roof shelters the external walkways, dipping down towards the campus to create an intimate courtyard between the workshops and adjoining buildings. Staff and students using the building are highly visible, creating a sense of studious activity and social cohesion to the campus.

Internally, the scale and volume of the spaces, coupled with a high degree of natural daylight, give them an elegance and lightness rarely associated with mechanical workshops. The design was specifically developed to make use of a variety of passive techniques to limit environmental impact wherever possible.