Major redevelopment announced for BSAMD

Issue date: 06 April 2006

Artists impression of redevelopment Planning has been granted for a phased ten year redevelopment of the Bristol School of Art Media and Design at the Bower Ashton Campus of the University of the West of England. The £11.5million refurbishment and development programme has been agreed to enable UWE to use the Bower Ashton Campus as a hub serving satellite sites at Spike Island, Bush House (above the Arnolfini), Watershed, the Tobacco Factory and from 2008 the studios alongside Royal West of England Academy at Queens Road.

Professor Paul Gough, Dean of the BSAMD, said, “This redevelopment plan is crucial to the future success of the Bristol School of Art, Media and Design. Our strong links and partnerships with all of the major design, art and media organisations in Bristol have lead to a phenomenal increase in student numbers (40% since 1997). Our recent agreement with Aardman Animations will attract budding animators to Bristol and we continue to strengthen our links with Watershed, Arnolfini, Spike Island and the Royal West of England Academy.

“Our strategy has been to create a strong hub and spoke; Bower Ashton as the hub, the 'spokes' will ensure that we maintain our partnerships with the very best creative industries and organisations in the city and region. Students can now work alongside professional designers, artists and media practitioners. We need to ensure that we develop the core Campus Buildings to accommodate this demand and exceed students' expectations by providing first rate studios, exhibition space, and a stimulating learning space.”

Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Colin Fudge is leading the development project. He said, “Students will enjoy greatly improved facilities including a new two storey studio building, a revamped art materials shop, expansion of student social areas including a new bar and canteen and expansion of the existing library.

“There will be new buildings for student resource centres for textiles, wood, metal and media work, improved facilities for research and knowledge transfer activities and many old studios will be replaced. The redevelopment also includes expansion of student support services including careers, student advice centre, student union offices, a new reception area and staff administration offices.

“The first phase of the redevelopment starts this summer with the construction of the new studio building. Designed to ease space pressures as the School is developed, this building will feature specially designed studios with north facing sky lights on the first floor. The ground floor will house the Electronic and Photographic Imaging Centre, the main reception and administrative offices.”

Special attention will be focused on ensuring that the site blends well into its surroundings. Landscaping will include the replanting of a bluebell wood on the corner of Kennel Lodge Road and Park Farm Road.

Improved transport links will be established aimed at encouraging students to use low impact, energy efficient transport to the Campus. A bus turning circle will be installed making it easier to negotiate more bus services to the campus together with well lit shelters in waiting areas. Secure bike racks, lockers and improved showers and changing facilities will be provided for cyclists.

The new studio building is to be completed by the Autumn in 2007.

Sir Howard Newby, Vice-Chancellor, said, “The redevelopment of the Bristol School of Art, Media and Design is a major investment and will ensure that students gain the best possible experience during their time at the university. The scope of the project gives us the potential to create a special place that will attract the best students and enable us to continue to develop and maintain our close links with the wider artistic community and creative industries in the region.”


Editor's notes:

Project Management - UWE Estates
Architect – Alec French Architects
Landscape Architects – Cooper Partnership
Structural Engineers – ARUP
Mechanical and Electrical Engineers – Hoare Lea
Quantity Surveyors – Currie & Brown

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