Lancaster University

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£10m Arts Building Gets Go Ahead

07/17/2009 15:24:55

The timber framed LICA building
The timber framed LICA building

Planning permission has been granted for a new £10m building which will provide performance space for the Lancaster Institute for Contemporary Arts (LICA). Work is due to begin over the summer of 2009 and the facility will be open for the academic year in September 2010.

LICA combines four academic groups; Art, Design, Music and Theatre Studies as well as three public arts facilities; the Peter Scott Gallery, the Nuffield Theatre and the International Concert Series. It also hosts the research group ImaginationLancaster.

The timber framed building set in woodland on the north campus will be the public face of the LICA groups, with a stage for the nationally and internationally recognised work produced at Lancaster University.

The 3000 square metre environmentally-friendly timber building will be wrapped in translucent cladding which will filter varying degrees of light into the interior. The main accommodation includes three interlinked social spaces, with open plan offices upstairs.

The building, in a woodland setting on the north campus, is designed to encourage visitors into LICA and be the base for the redevelopment of the entire arts sector on the north campus.

A proposal is also being developed to spread "Imagination Bubbles" - small portable rooms for collaborative experimentation - out of the building to populate public spaces.

The architects Sheppard Robson have designed the development with the aim of it becoming the UK’s first education project to achieve the new “outstanding” rating under the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) rating.

This will include natural ventilation, reduced energy consumption and the use of sustainable materials such as timber.