Winner of the University of Bath's Arts Centre design competition announced
McInnes Usher McKnight Architects (MUMA) have been chosen to design a new inter-disciplinary arts complex on a prominent site within the university of Bath's Claverton Down campus.
The new facility will replace existing facilities and provide for significant innovation and expansion. It will include performance space for live events, including music and dance studios and an improved theatre, new gallery areas, and the space and resources for continuing professional development, academic teaching and research.
MUMA were chosen following a two stage competition which initially attracted interest from over 80 practices. Only five were invited to prepare initial concept sketches and present these to a panel of judges, which included University representatives and RIBA architect adviser Sir Jeremy Dixon.
The jury panel enjoyed MUMA's 'round the table' style presentation, which demonstrated how the practice had carefully considered flexibility of use, the character of the space, nice use of light, and interesting ideas for drawing in the landscape. The panel felt the practice would engage well with the university and the students.
John Struthers, Director of the Institute of Contemporary Interdisciplinary Arts (ICIA) said: "We were very impressed with the high calibre of the shortlisted teams, but MUMA's proposals really captured the essence of what we were trying to achieve with this new complex. Their concept is intelligent, flexible and attractive. We look forward to working with them over the coming months, and to consulting widely with the local community and the region's artists, performers and audiences to develop a facility for the whole region to be proud of."
MUMA will work with the university representatives to develop a detailed design and move the project forward.It is hoped that initial designs will be ready by spring 2008. If everything goes to plan, the university hopes to be able to open the new facility, which will be built next to the Sports Training Village, in spring 2010.