The Edge: Centre for Arts

University of Bath, UK

Justin Spencer, Partner at Hoare Lea

Project Lead:
Justin Spencer

Innovative solutions for a creative space.

The Edge is a new centre for the arts at the University of Bath, which brings together a range of spaces for the visual and performing arts under a single roof. It was created for the new Institute of Contemporary Interdisciplinary Arts (ICIA), allowing it to engage more fully with the local community and wider region, and to provide an innovative and attractive public programme of arts events.

Fostering collaboration.

The project aimed to bring together diverse art forms and practices and help foster new interactions between disciplines. The building provides a 220-seat theatre, an art gallery, dance and performance studios, visual arts studios and music practice rooms for individuals and ensembles.

Successful strategy.

The building is predominantly naturally ventilated, with ‘spot’ mechanical ventilation to high occupancy areas only. We achieved this through significant computer modelling of comfort conditions and acoustics to ensure that the client’s design criteria was met while complying with the strictest of acoustics standards. We also used displacement ventilation as it’s suited to conditioning large/tall spaces with good acoustic performance and allowed free cooling to be utilised. More than 50 percent of the existing ventilation ductwork was retained and primed for re-use as part of our new ventilation strategy. Similarly the heating distribution and heat emitters were retained and magnetic capture devices were used to protect the new systems from any residual debris.

Key Figures
£10.9M Total project value
2015 Opened