Client: Arts University Bournemouth
Location: Bournemouth, UK
Completion: October 2003
Lee/Fitzgerald’s rationalisation and reorganisation of the north entrance to the Arts University Bournemouth has created a flexible lobby area, a dedicated gallery space that is intensively used to showcase students’ work, and an upgraded lecture theatre.
The primary strategy for the design of the gallery area was to clearly define circulation routes, through both opaque and perforated screens, that maintain strong visual connections between activities and improve the legibility of the building’s geography, while providing conditions appropriate for the calm contemplation of the art on display. A large section of the wall with the lecture theatre pivots open so that it and the gallery can on occasion act as one space.
The uncluttered and yet sensually rich aesthetic of the timber screens and ceiling, reminiscent of Scandinavian modernism, adds a touch of refinement to the entrance of the college, without competing with the craft-based architectural language of the existing building. One might say it gives a vision of how the original building might have been throughout given a little more care and attention to detail.