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Performing Arts Centre, Falmouth

Grainge Architects working as part of a design-and-build partnership developed this design from a concept by another specialist performing arts architect.  The Centre is the new Combined Universities of Cornwall home for the former Dartington College, and provides dance, music and theatrical studios and performance spaces, recording studios and associated facilities.

The £14m building features concrete framed construction giving high thermal mass, and relies on natural passive ventilation throughout.  This with the need for excellent acoustic performance, including acoustic containment, presented many design-detail and co-ordination challenges, all carried out within a fast-track delivery.  

The building contains a number of sustainable features designed to increase its energy efficiency such as maximizing natural daylight and ventilation, using locally sourced materials, a 'Green' roof with carefully selected wild flower seeding, assisting with surface water drainage attenuation, solar shading to minimize solar gain and a building form that works closely with existing site topography to minimize ground engineering works. All of which has achieved a BREEAM 'excellent' rating. The building won the Michelmores / Western Morning News "Eco Building of the Year" award in 2011.