Eldon West wing opens after £14 million investment

A University building has been transformed into a state of the art facility for the creative arts, thanks to £14 million of investment.

The Eldon Building West wing opens this week and provides the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries with brand new purpose-built facilities. They include a new 200 seat cinema-quality screening room which doubles as a lecture theatre, a new exhibition space, seven large seminar rooms, an art shop and purpose-built fashion, textiles, architecture and interior design studios.

Eldon west wing

Eldon west wing

The new extension is designed to bring staff and students from the faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries (CCI) together under one roof to benefit from working together and collaborating on creative projects. There will be great focus on the public staging, exhibition and performance of students’ and external artists’ work.

The building has five floors, creating an additional 3000 square metres of space and a new entrance for the whole building leads into a double-height atrium linking all the floors vertically and maximising natural light. A roof terrace tops the building, which also has a sedum roof, a type of green roof which can positively affect the heat produced by urban environments, reduce the surface run off of rainfall and even provide important microclimates for insects and bird life.

Other developments in the building include a new café, which was designed by University architecture students, alongside a group learning space for students to work together

Faculty Dean, Professor Catherine Harper who has been in post just a few months, said that the re-opening of the building marked a significant moment for the faculty.

“I’m very proud of our new facilities and thrilled to be the Dean of CCI at such an exciting time.

“Our new facilities demonstrate a commitment to our current students in the faculty and provide a clear demonstration to future students that the University of Portsmouth is investing further in the creative and cultural industries.”

The building’s extension was the creation of award-winning firm of architects, Penoyre & Prasad, who were also behind the extension to the University Library which has won several design awards.

Staff from Creative Technologies are already occupying space in the building and more departments will begin to move into the west wing during December, including those of the School of Architecture and some staff from the School of Creative Arts Film and Media. Many of the classrooms will represent pooled space open to the entire University and teaching is scheduled to re-start in the building in the New Year.

An official building opening for the new wing will be held in the summer of 2014. In other exciting developments, the faculty’s other major building project in conjunction with the New Theatre Royal is due for completion in 2014.

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  1. It’s about damn time!

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