Published on February 11, 2014 | by Edwige Dubois0
Building underway on new Wimbledon studiosA modern and eco-friendly building is being constructed at Wimbledon College of Arts and will offer 450 square metres of new studio space when it is complete.
Simon Betts, Dean of Wimbledon, told Arts London News that the theatre and screen design course, which is currently being housed in a Portakabin, will certainly benefit from the building.
The project is described by Betts as “a new studio building which lives and breathes with a very elegant architecture.”
It is aiming to be Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) certified, the most widely used rating method for sustainability in buildings.
The new building will be designed to recycle rainwater, manage a self-regulating heating system while lighting will be controlled by solar panels on the roof.
The new space is due to be launched in September 2014, with Betts aiming “to have a grand opening, to invite all the students, the staff and the council. And have some champagne smashed – a bit like the launch of the ship.”
According to Betts, last year Wimbledon decided to put a cap on student intake, so that the existing numbers would have a “better learning environment” and “not be so squashed”.
“Just because we got a new building doesn’t mean we are going to take more students,” he said
The site of the construction was previously the ‘sculpture yard’ and Betts described it as “chaos” where “people would chuck in rubbish”.Georgia Dennison, a third year sculpture student and CCW Vice President, had a different view on the area, describing it as “a communal space where we all congregated when the weather was a bit warmer. We also had a big metalwork hangar for creating bigger metal work which is, in all honesty, missed quite a bit.”
Jasmine Lean, third year student in BA Set Design for Screen, put things into perspective, saying: “You can’t be too negative about it because it is going to benefit students beyond us.”
Dennison’s Classmate, Cuthbert Noble, told Arts London News that he feels his class is “crammed-in now” because “a lot of space was taken away.”
“I’m [in the] third year, so I’m not going to get any use out of it,” Noble said.