London’s status as one of the world’s premier creative cities will be boosted next week, as Middlesex University opens the doors of a new £80m centre for art, design and media. In fantastic education news for the capital, the university looks to set standards when it comes to art and design.
Thousands of British and international students will now benefit from some of the UK’s most impressive facilities for subjects ranging from fine art, graphic design, interior design, fashion, photography and 3D animation through to multimedia, TV and film.
Middlesex University head of Art and Design, Phil Healey, is already seeing an enthusiastic response to the centre as the first visitors arrive for tours of the site: “Our students and staff are excited about the opportunities for creativity provided by our amazing new home and its facilities.
“We designed the Grove to provide an inspirational environment and give our students the best possible start to their careers at the heart of the creative industries. Whether students go on to be self-employed entrepreneurs or work for large companies, they will have the advantage of cutting edge experience using truly professional facilities.”
The Hendon based 15,000m2 building will cater for around 3000 students, who will take advantage of features like two state of the art TV production studios and one of the best equipped digital darkrooms in the UK.
And the work produced by students will get the attention it deserves, with the chance to display it in the Grove’s huge atrium, designed as a venue for events, exhibitions and fashion shows.
Middlesex University has a long standing reputation for providing art and design education. This began with Hornsey School of Art in 1880 which became part of Middlesex Polytechnic 1973-4 and then Middlesex University in 1992.
Phil Healy is excited about the future and the chance for teaching to begin in the new building; “We see our role as helping students to develop their own individual creative voice, providing them with the skills and knowledge that will drive the UK’s £60bn creative industries well into the future.”
New BA Photography student Lauren Becki Rowlands, from Rugby, said: “It’s brilliant as far as photography is concerned, having a colour darkroom as well as film, that’s something I’m excited about being able to use. The studios and even the base rooms have coves that can be used as studios so there is plenty of space. Photography is a lot about the equipment and facilities you have and without them it’s difficult. These facilities will make it a lot cheaper for students as we don’t have to go outside to get our work processed.”
Wesley Bonnick, new 3D Animation and Games student from London said: “I was amazed, I’d never seen the building before but when I saw the facilities I thought, wow, it’s amazing and very big. This is where I wanted to be for 3D animation and games and when I saw this place I thought it had everything I need and I had to go for it.”
Lauren Taylor from London is taking an intensive foundation in art and design (IFAD) course. She said: “The building is very well facilitated and has a lot of resources and I’ll be surprised if we have time to try everything. I’m looking forward to using the photography studio which looks interesting. It’s huge”.
Fellow IFAD student Romany Kemp-Ghani from London said: “I like the way they’ve used the space, like the seating areas and bean bags. It’s somewhere you don’t mind spending a lot of time.”
The Grove fact file:
- Features include two Sony designed TV production studios, digital darkroom, digital media workshop, screen-printing and letterpress typographic workshop, four photographic studios, a news room, radio studio, extensive 3D workshops, ceramics workshop, black and white, and colour darkrooms, print workshop, well equipped fashion and textiles workshops and a jewellery workshop.
- World-renowned BPR Architects designed The Grove. The building has open space and parkland on each side, and will have a range of environmental features to reduce energy consumption, including efficient heat pumps, solar panels and a ‘living’ roof.
- Prior to construction, the site was a car park. ‘The Grove’ is a name historically linked with the site.
- Clay removed from the site during building work was used in construction of the London 2012 Olympic canoe slalom course.