Daphne Oram creative arts building
Civic Trust Awards
Level of Award
Local Authority Area
Information about this scheme
Located within the Canterbury UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Daphne Oram creative arts building combines the Schools of Media, Art and Design and Music and Performing Arts as a new School of Creative Arts and Industries on the North Holmes city centre campus of Canterbury Christ Church University.
The project replaces a car park, provides a new gateway building and integrates the north western corner of the campus. It delivers new facilities for the University that add to the social and economic development of the region through the development of skills needed in the creative industries. The design of the building reveres and responds to its setting helping to illustrate the rich history of the World Heritage Site through internal design features and the design of the external landscaping.
Archaeological remains of special significance lie within the site, some at relatively shallow depth. The building and its associated infrastructure are therefore designed to have as little impact as possible on them. Vestiges of the Abbey precinct wall, discovered during preliminary investigations, are on display inside the new building through glass vision panels in the ground floor.
The building provides generous floor to ceiling heights to accommodate high specification photography, studio and performance spaces. The building is composed of two and three-storey elements, the scale of which responds appropriately to the overall setting: between the existing University campus buildings and the neighbouring residential houses and gardens.
The three main volumes are clad in a red/ brown brick, harmonising in tone and colour with nearby buildings. Window reveals are articulated using reconstituted stone. A large picture window on the south façade announces the entrance from the newly landscaped precinct and framed views of the Cathedral have been created to the western elevation at first and second floor levels.
The building provides a new clearly defined gateway to the campus and reinforces the University’s identity within the city for passers-by.
Nicholas Hare Architects
Canterbury Christ Church University
Integral Engineering Design
Currie and Brown
Primary Use Class
Class D1c - Education