Spratley & Partners Limited , 7 Centenary Business Park , Station Road , Henley-on-Thames , Oxon , RG9 1DS
Designed to accommodate the launch of a new Masters of Fine Art Programme and to give a more public face to the school, the new building delivers facilities worthy of The Ruskin School of Art's reputation as one of the leading art schools in the UK. Clever use of a difficult site has enabled the school to double in size, allowing them to accommodate more students whilst also providing them with the facilities to actively host their own public exhibitions and performances. The building includes offices, exhibition space, multimedia studios, metal and wood workshops, print and casting rooms and a seminar room. Spratley & Partners worked closely with audio visual design consultants to entwine high specification and multifunctional AV systems into the very fabric of the building. A key feature of the building is the public-facing double-height exhibition area, which has a frontage fitted with interactive glazing. Creating great visual impact, the glass can be used as one giant screen or as individual panels. When switched off, it becomes clear, allowing the building to quietly integrate into the surrounding area. The art school fronts onto a residential street and, thanks to thoughtful design, colour palette and material choices, sits comfortably in its surroundings.