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Breaking Ground for New Workshop Project

Plymouth College of Art hosted a turf cutting ceremony to mark the start of the next phase in the College's Estates masterplan.

On Monday 8th October Plymouth College of Art hosted a turf cutting ceremony to celebrate the start of their new build project. The workshop project represents the first phase of the College’s new estates masterplan. This plan is designed to support the College’s long-term business plan and a strategy to upgrade the college’s built environment to a standard that will meet the new needs of students in a highly volatile and competitive economic and educational climate.

Plymouth College of Art is attracting increasing recognition for innovation in arts education, and as a national and international centre for the contemporary crafts. The biennial symposium Making Futures, convening its third edition in September 2013, is by now an eagerly anticipated event in the international contemporary crafts calendar and, beginning in 2012, the College will also curate the international glass pavilion at Art Shanghai on an annual basis.

Plymouth College of Art is now investing in a new workshop development, due to open in September 2013 as the first phase of the College’s new estates masterplan, developed with architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios. The new workshops will house industry-standard technologies in glass, ceramics and metals from furnaces, kilns and cold-processing to digital tools and high-tech machining and cutting processes. The new workshop will enable new creative and educational possibilities in craft and design for manufacture in a continuum of learning, design and making from apprenticeship level through to postgraduate Masters provision.

Principal Professor Andrew Brewerton comments, “Plymouth College of Art is working purposefully against the grain of decline and closure in this critical area of art and design education, with a capital innovation that will shape the professional practice and career horizons of the next generation of talented designers and makers.”

The building will provide an additional 2,034m² of specialist workshop space and will house the fantastically equipped ceramics, glass workshops with new large-scale architectural glass kilns and small-scale metals. There will be a new design workshop with a range of computer-aided digital design facilities for rapid prototyping, including 3D scanning and printing, milling and laser cutting, and the workshop will also accommodate student work stations, social learning hubs and display areas.

Following the confirmation of planning permission in September 2012 the site contracts, Mansells, have prepared the site and removed the large scale metals building to make way for the new workshops. Work will continue over the next 12 months to bring this innovative contemporary crafts workshop to fruition.