AUB is delighted to announce that its new Drawing Studio, the first of its kind to be built in the UK for 100 years, has today been announced as a winner of the 2016 RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) National Awards.

The Drawing Studio, which was officially opened on 3rd March 2016 by the late Dame Zaha Hadid, was honoured in the prestigious awards that are the most rigorous in the UK, with the winning buildings setting the standard for good architecture.

The shortlist for the coveted RIBA Stirling Prize for the UK’s best building of the year will be drawn from these award-winning buildings.

AUB’s Drawing Studio was designed and completed by renowned architect and AUB alumnus and Honorary Fellow, Professor Sir Peter Cook RA and his office CRAB (Cook Robotham Architectural Bureau). Not only is it the first purpose-built Drawing Studio to be constructed at an art school for more than a century, it is also Sir Peter’s first building to be built in the UK.

The building is accessible to students from all courses across the University enabling all creative artists, working in any genre, to be in the same space together, from costume designers to architects, animators to etchers. It also offers students from other disciplines the opportunity to share and observe others’ work and interact with those from other creative fields.

The room has been designed to reflect the central theme of light in the tradition of looking and drawing. There is a large north-light in the studio tradition, a rear clerestory that throws a softer light back from the rear wall, as well as softer lighting from the east and a graded wash of light that comes along the curve of the entrance.

Professor Stuart Bartholomew CBE, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, AUB commented: “We are delighted that our new Drawing Studio has been honoured in these high profile awards. This innovative and beautiful building provides students with a new space in which drawing can be taught and practiced.

“It is important to us as a University that we reassert the centrality of drawing to the subjects we offer. We believe the simplicity of the monocoque construction allows the act of drawing to become a calm and considered activity within the lively world of a very busy creative institution.

AUB is one of the few remaining independent art schools in the UK and we retain much of our original mission as an art school, providing studio-based learning and teaching and progression to the creative industries. What’s more we pride ourselves on producing the ‘thinkers’ and ‘doers’ who have the highest level of employability in the real world.

The University’s newly completed Student Services building was also recently awarded a RIBA South West Award. The building offers a new, dedicated space for students to meet with the Student Services team and student advisors.