Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts The City of Brighton and Hove BN1 9QF, UK

5 circular spaces for connected creativity

After being unused for a decade, Basil Spence’s idiomatic building of 6 circular forms was planned as a Centre for Creative Arts that would allow multi-media studies students to experiment in spaces for display, immersion and teaching with audio-visual connectivity.

Attenborough Centre, Falmer, Brighton, The City of Brighton and Hove BN1 9QF, UK
Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK
RH Partnership

Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts




© Jim Stephenson

Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts Conception

To unify and recast the existing circular auditorium with poor acoustics as a flat floor for exhibitions, promenade performance and omni-directional music performances.

A raked intimate space for 350 with large stage for dance; theatre and lectures; theatre in the round for 400 for even more intimate productions.

© RH Partnership

Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts Gestation

Working with RH Partnership, AMPC laid out the floor levels, well and combination of retractable and liftable platforms; the overhead technical access and the performance systems infrastructure connecting all teaching and performance spaces including the basement gallery.

A high level of design and detailing was needed to match the quality of the original architecture.

A new stage and passenger lifts overcame the challenges of a multi-level building and due to the narrow circulation corridors, an intelligent approach to power and data runs was needed to fit within them.

The building project was delivered in 2015 within budget and gave the client a complete building and a further budget for the user client to spend on loose equipment.

The spaces have been designed to function separately or in any combination or permutation within the building, University and wider world.

Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts Birth

The centre opened during the Brighton Festival with performances by Simon McBurney using 3 dimensional sound mixed live with pre-recorded tracks. It exemplified the client vision of multi-media experimentation and immersive performance.