The Performance Hub

The University of Wolverhampton’s School of Sports, Performing Arts and Leisure operated from two campus locations in Wolverhampton and Walsall. Associated Architects was appointed to develop a new ‘Performance Hub’ building at the heart of the Walsall Campus to unite the School in one location.

Integrating the separate and distinct needs of the three Schools within one building needed careful consideration as the combined brief included a variety of noise intensive and quiet spaces. It was the resolution of these conflicting adjacencies that drove the internal and external organisation of the completed building.

A four storey linear block houses the majority of the teaching accommodation including a Learning and Resources Centre at the lowest two levels, and specialist dance, drama and music spaces on the upper floors. The main ‘black box’ theatre space and support spaces including dressing rooms, rehearsal spaces and set workshop areas are contained within a three storey performance block separated from the main accommodation block by a full height glazed atrium.

The external expression of the building reflects the internal organisation. The performance block, which houses the ‘black box’ theatre, is robustly expressed with green copper cladding with abstract punched window openings with coloured linings, set on a base of black metal panels containing get-in doors. The main teaching block is clad in a contrasting patinated copper cladding and has a dramatic sloping wall and roof profile and super graphic signage to form a new marker of the campus from The Broadway.

Client: University of Wolverhampton
Project Value: £12.4m
Completed: 2011

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