Centre for Contemporary Arts Nottingham – Caruso St John Architects

Centre for Contemporary Arts Nottingham, Design, Images, Architects

Centre for Contemporary Arts Nottingham : Building

Nottingham Arts Building – design by Caruso St John Architects, England, UK

16 Nov 2009

Centre for Contemporary Arts Nottingham

Design: Caruso St John Architects

Nottingham Arts Building Photos

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images : Hélène Binet

Ed. Interviewed on TV Adam Caruso explained some of the thinking behind the building, but that ‘life is more important than architecture’. The memorable leitmotif is the repeated scalloped wall panel with subtle lace patterning – reminding us that Nottingham made its name from the manufacture of lace.

Brit Insurance Design Awards : 2011 Nominee

News Update – 13 Nov 2009

Nottingham Contemporary

Nottingham Contemporary Opens 14th November

Caruso St John’s new contemporary art gallery in Nottingham opens to the public this weekend. The exhibition programme opens with a major David Hockney retrospective, ‘1960 – 1968: A Marriage of Styles’ and an exhibition of the collages of Frances Stark, ‘But what of Frances Stark, standing by itself, a naked name, bare as a ghost to whom one would like to lend a sheet?’. Both exhibitions run until the 10th January 2010.

Nottingham Arts Centre
photograph : Hélène Binet

Centre for Contemporary Arts Nottingham – CCAN

Stunning lace designs that helped establish a world famous industry in the heart of Nottingham have been set in concrete as part of an iconic, multi-million pound arts centre.

Centre for Contemporary Arts Nottingham CCAN pattern

The project was a major challenge for Trent Concrete, which used its wealth of precast experience to reproduce a unique lace pattern in the reconstructed stone cladding being manufactured for the Centre for Contemporary Arts Nottingham (CCAN).

The design is based on a sample of Victorian lace found in a time capsule, unearthed when a new supermarket was being built in the city.

This pattern was initially given to design specialists at Derby University, who used lasers to replicate the exact pattern on a piece of timber. It was then sent to Germany, where leading rubber mould supplier Reckli was able to transfer the design onto a durable rubber mat.

The finished template is now being placed into concrete-ready moulds, so the intricate pattern can be exactly reproduced on the cladding Trent Concrete is making for the £13m arts centre. David Walker, Managing Director of Trent Concrete, said: “We are thrilled to be able to use our precast concrete expertise to create such a unique and beautiful finish for what promises to be a landmark building for Nottingham. “Each contract we undertake is bespoke in its detail. While we have used rubber mat templates in our moulds before, such as at the Trafford Centre in Manchester, but this is easily the most intricate job we have ever undertaken.”

In total, 1,100 square metres of green scalloped wall panels will be made by Trent for the arts centre – ranging from 4-11m in height. The heaviest of the 93 individual units weighs in at 11.5 tonnes. Trent have had to develop innovative methods of handling, storing, transporting and erecting the massive panels that would ensure that the stunning finish is protected.

Purpose-built metal frames are being used to carefully turn the finished panels onto their edges, for easier and safer transport. Once delivered on site, a special ‘shoe’ (made from a steel frame) is used to carefully turn them back 90 degrees before being fixed to the building.

Under its nearly £500,000 contract with Caruso St John Architects, Trent is also providing a 200 square metre black polished concrete plinth of varying heights to surround the bottom of the bottom of the building. This will guarantee an impressive finish to the project.

CCAN has received substantial support from Arts Council England and the development is being led by Nottingham City Council, in partnership with Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham – who will set up a charity to operate the site.

The centre, featuring 1,300 square metres of gallery space, education rooms and a café and bar, is a major opportunity for the city to develop and enhance its cultural and creative industries. It is due to open in the autumn of 2008.

Centre for Contemporary Arts Nottingham images / information received 031207

Centre for Contemporary Arts Nottingham : Caruso St John Architects


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Trent Concrete is a specialist precast concrete contractor, producing high quality bespoke architectural cladding and structures. Providing a complete solution from detailed design development through skills-based manufacture to on-site erection using its own teams, Trent Concrete partners with leading developers and specifiers to ensure that their projects gain maximum benefit from prefabrication. Trent Concrete’s precast solutions make a major contribution to improved quality, certainty, sustainability, safety and efficiency in the UK construction industry today.

The company has worked on some of the most prestigious projects of recent years, including The Scottish Office and the Toyota GB Plc and Thames Water headquarters buildings, and the quality of its work is consistently recognised in the form of industry awards. Trent Concrete was founded in 1917 and is based in Nottingham, where it employs more than 200 people.

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Centre for Contemporary Arts : Glasgow

Nottingham Centre for Arts image + information from Trent Concrete Ltd via CFA Marketing Communications 031207

Comments / photos for the Nottingham Arts Centre page welcome

Nottingham Arts Centre – page

Website : www.nottinghamcontemporary.org