Design proposals by CZWG for a new arts complex, which will rejuvenate arts and culture in the city, has been given the green light by Southampton City Council’s planning committee. The development will be a major addition to the Cultural Quarter, which will attracts tens of thousands of people to the city every year and create more than 300 direct jobs. Work should start on site next summer. Grosvenor signed a formal agreement with Southampton City Council in 2010 and has been working in partnership with them to develop a detailed proposal for the scheme, which will define one side of the newly landscaped Guildhall Square.
Grosvenor has worked with CZWG to ensure that the scheme becomes established as the city’s flagship Cultural Quarter development. Plans include 6 restaurant units, 29 flats in addition to the new arts complex which comprises auditoria, studio and creation space for the performing arts, a contemporary art gallery (John Hansard, University of Southampton) and film/media facilities (City Eye).
Split into two buildings either side of a new pedestrian link connecting Guildhall Square to Southampton’s listed Andrews Park. The design features two striking glazed entrance porticos which reflect that of the existing Guildhall portico opposite. Residential accommodation has been carefully designed to recede in views from the Guildhall, enabling the primary focus to remain on the arts entrances. Perforated metal auditoria project above the parapet and will be illuminated at night. Southampton City Council was last year granted £7.2m from Arts Council England for the arts complex scheme. Glenn Howells Architects have been working on the fit out of the arts accommodation.
The planning committee were unanimous in their praise for the project and their resolution to grant permission. Councillor Royston Smith, Leader of Southampton City Council said: “Planning approval marks a significant step in this important build for the city. Another key development in the Cultural Quarter is now coming to fruition and I know residents are as excited as I am that the development of the arts complex will shortly commence onsite. It will be a place in the Cultural Quarter where all the arts can thrive and will draw in tens of thousands of visitors every year. Despite the current financial climate, we continue to attract investment and create vital new jobs for our residents.”