Wow! This is what a brand new £15 million arts centre for York could look like

How the design used to look. Image: Tate Harmer
25 Mar 2018 @ 6.18 pm
| Education, Environment

Modern, striking, spectacular – this is the plan for a new £15 million creative centre for York.

It is the winning design for York St John University’s new arts, design and performance centre.

University bosses said the proposal, by London architects Tate Harmer, was the ‘stand-out winner’.

Featuring a 200-seat auditorium and flexible teaching space that can adapt to various students’ needs, the design was inspired by the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City.

Set to be built in the heart of York St John’s Lord Mayor’s Walk campus, the new auditorium will be flanked by a large window facing onto York Minster – “offering a unique portal to the performances within, and spectacular views of the cathedral outside”.

Host different performances

The auditorium, with its window revealing York Minster beyond

Described as a “new civic space at the heart of the campus”, the hall will host a broad range of performances. These would include creative collaborations using modern technology.

The proposed scheme also includes an atrium linking the teaching spaces and auditorium. Communal areas on three levels would encourage students studying different disciplines to mix and work together.

The three-level atrium

Connected to the existing design centre, the timber-framed atrium will be enclosed by a special transparent plastic covering made from ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) – similar to that used in Cornwall’s Eden Project.

A new landscaped street will link existing and proposed buildings to form an integrated, easy to navigate centre of the campus.

Reflects ambition and optimism

A daytime view of the creative centre

With the plans still to be finalised, Tate Harmer’s proposal would deliver 3,000 square metres of flexible teaching space as well as allowing for the potential expansion of an additional 1,500sqm.

“Serving as a beacon for the campus, our designs reflect the ambitions of the university to significantly improve student learning and experience,” said Jerry Tate, partner at Tate Harmer.

“We are looking forward to developing the plans further with the team.”

The Lincoln Center in New York inspired the York design. Photograph: PredragKezic on Pixabay

Rob Hickey is executive director of innovation and growth at York St John University. He said:

As one of the fastest growing universities in the country, we need to develop innovative teaching space for specialist subjects.

We were impressed with Tate Harmer’s proposal for a vibrant, state-of-the-art creative centre that recognises the needs of future students.

Their design was the stand-our winner for reflecting the ambition and optimism of York St John University, making the most of the building’s position in the centre of campus and showcasing our location in the heart of the city.

Other shortlisted practices included Feilden Clegg Bradley, Building Design Partnership, Nicholas Hare Architects, Portacabin and AHR Architects.