University of Wales

Aberystwyth 2001

Performing Arts was the university’s fastest growing department, and the project was driven by the need to provide additional performance, rehearsal, recording and editing spaces on a restricted budget. Patel Taylor created a building with a single volume but carved it into the hillside, thus using the landscape itself to define the different types of space and creating a theatrical, exciting and unique setting.

Back stage and black box areas are buried in the ground while the foyer and rehearsal rooms form a plateau to the view, creating a dramatic, yet natural backdrop. Between the two boulder-like main performance spaces is a route that runs like a crevice between them, bringing the hillside into the building and showing how architecture unites the drama of the site with the drama of the programme.

As one has come to expect from Patel Taylor, its solution... has been a clear and powerful conceptual diagram and a subtle reading of ‘place’.
RIBA Journal