The colourful building by the Archigram cofounder is a hub for startups at the Arts University Bournemouth
Sir Peter Cook, architect and cofounder of iconic 1960s architecture group Archigram, has designed a colourful new Innovation Studio for the Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) in southern England. The 502 sq m building has been developed as an entrepreneurial hub, supporting emerging micro and small businesses, mainly involving recent AUB graduates.
‘The space is a rich vessel for creativity and innovation,’ says Cook, ‘and those creating within these walls will almost certainly be working towards solutions to some of mankind’s greatest challenges; from climate change to transport, and connectivity to infrastructure.’ The facility is home to some of the latest digital and physical manufacturing technologies, including Large Format Additive Printing, CNC milling and waterjet cutting, and VR/AR technologies including projection, 3D body scanning, and a green screen studio.
Characterised by a fully painted exterior in rippling orange, red and yellow shapes, the building has a joyful and energetic presence. These colours seep down onto the pathways around the building, creating an immersive environment. The sizes and shapes of the building’s windows vary to represent different spaces within, and are accompanied by a series of perforated metal semi-elliptical ‘eyelid’ shutters.
Inside, the building breaks down the categories of ‘office’, ‘studio’ and ‘workshop’, creating a variety of spaces to support the resident startups. The two-floor interior features a top-lit central skylight lantern with a void under that links the upper and lower levels. Bespoke interlocking furniture, screens and fittings continue the red-orange-yellow aesthetic of the exterior.
The Innovation Studio is the second building designed by Cook – an AUB alumnus – for the university, after his 2016 Drawing Studio.
Photography by Richard Bryant