Location: Hereford, UK
Client: Hereford College of Arts
Start Date: February 2011
Completion Date: December 2011
Contract Value: £900k
The project delivers much-needed cafe and exhibition space for the Hereford College of Arts within a dynamic new volume.
The College demanded an innovative, design-led solution. The building’s distinctive parallelogram form derives from the geometrical constraints of the site. The main volume is then defined as an elegant glass box—protected as necessary from environmental pressures with variegated infill panels.
With a strong sustainability agenda, the unique ‘trestle’ structure was formed with glu-laminated and cross-laminated timber. The space is naturally ventilated and day-lit with high levels of insulation. A great deal of time was spent developing and modelling the environmental strategy (using TAS software) in order to mitigate the need for mechanical ventilation and / or cooling. A substantial roof overhang minimises solar gain in the summer, whilst allowing light deep into the building in winter.
An external reflective pool is used to both animate the space and to mediate sunlight, bouncing reflected waves onto the timber soffit. The water bench is a key environmental feature as it also provides an element of evaporative cooling.
The interior treatment strives to create a calm, neutral space for the display of art. To this end, the majority of services within the main space have been concealed and the functionality of the building fabric has been significantly enhanced—e.g fritted solar shading which doubles as a media projection screen.
Externally, the building is clad in anodised aluminium and untreated local cedar to reflect is surroundings, whilst a comprehensive landscape scheme roots the building to the site—creating external social and exhibition spaces for the College and its students.