Arts Faculty, University of Plymouth
The Roland Levinsky Building ARTS FACULTY, UNIVERSITY OF PLYMOUTH The vision for the new arts building is to create a centre for arts and culture that fuses both city and university campus as a core for activity and learning. A central cross point constitutes "a mini city" similar to the red info-box on Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, in which both the public, the Centre for Visual Art and various university activities create "the city life". The activities are connected by ramps on different levels, reflecting the topography of Plymouth. The cross point of the building will become a buzzing artistic forum, where CVA, the students and the teachers interact. The auditoriums, cinema, galleries and cafes in the building stand out as the new cultural meeting point in Plymouth. The building’s public square facing south affords views of city, landscape and the Atlantic. From the transparency of the building, the interior activities show, and the character of the building will change around the year. A dynamic wrap unites the activities of the building - stretching from street to sky as a continuous facade. The wrap is made of copper and will become a part of the Plymouth skyline together with the churches and lighthouses. The new arts building represents a new type of university and a new way of studying, emphasizing the importance of integrating the various subjects and the wish to make the University a city beacon, which requires a completely new building typology. Thus, the focus of the building process has been set on the interaction between Plymouth CVA and the University, the interaction between the Arts Faculty and the other faculties, the interaction between the different departments within the Arts Faculty and equally important the social interaction between people. Our aim with this project has been to define the campus area more specifically in relation to the city, thereby creating an area matching the students’ requirements, and further to ensure a significant identity, which may generate a positive urban development in the adjacent areas. Campus is organized around a centralized walking system, starting in the Rowe Street Development on the southern part of the site and moving up across the new stairs at the library extension. This main walking system will define two types of campus. The eastern campus is to have rather urban surfaces allowing for activities that require a solid basis, such as basketball, skating, and other sports, or parking grounds in connection with special events. The western side and the area south of the Scott building are to be a green space accommodating leisure, informal outdoor meetings and a number of sports activities. The area attracts a large number of people including non-students, and in this way the building contributes to the integration between the University and the city. We believe that such integration will ensure an exchange of information between people, and often information that has not been shared before. The dynamics of the integration will enhance new ideas and new knowledge sharing between students and lectors in a constant process. Working in the new Rowe Street Development is very much the same as working in a transparent organism, in which a person’s activities are monitored by the other persons in the building and by those passing through. The building is arranged in such a way that the extent of integration of educational activities can be determined by putting up flexible walls, curtains and small units established on the various floors. The functions placed high up in the buildings will, of course, due to their location, ensure a higher degree of privacy, whilst the functions on the lower floors will be more integrated in the general life of the building. The building will be able to change its character all through the year. As at UCLA’s Bartlett School of Architecture in London, or St. Martin’s Design School, it should accommodate large exhibitions and events of interest not only to the Plymouth citizens, but also the entire region several times a year. Therefore, it should be possible to change the building without any major operation and costs. FACTS Arts Faculty, University of Plymouth, UK Concept architect: Henning Larsen Architects Executive architect: BDP Client: University of Plymouth Gross floor area: 12,600 m2 Type of assignment: 1st prize in open international competition


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