The ICIA functions as a student arts centre for theatre and visual arts and crafts, and currently occupies the arts barn and arts lecture theatre by Alison and Peter Smithson on the edge of Claverton Down Campus.
In the competition brief a large amount of new accommodation was to be provided including a new theatre and studios and two new orchestral rehearsal spaces, while the arts lecture theatre building by the Smithsons was to remain in operation and be incorporated into the scheme.
In our design the new theatre faces the Smithson lecture hall and a new glass roofed shared foyer is made between them. Opposite these is a studio building, placed along the side street and designed as reconfigurable loft space. Between the two groups of buildings is a public concourse facing the main road into the campus, which holds the ICIA office, a café and box office. At the rear it can be closed off for orchestral rehearsals or opened for public performances. At other times it provides a non-specific place for creative activity.