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Cavendish House is an expressive redesign and remodelling of an existing four-storey early twentieth century building in Norwich city centre. The building houses the University’s Ideas Factory – an incubator space for the use of post graduate students starting a creative business – and a public art gallery on the ground floor. Above, there is dedicated office space for both teaching staff and the NUA Ideas Factory.
Cavendish House is a major refurbishment and remodelling of an existing commercial building in Norwich city centre for Norwich University of the Arts designed by Hudson Architects. The project houses a public art gallery and the University’s Ideas Factory – an incubator space for the use of graduates starting a creative business.
Cavendish House is located in the Norwich City Conservation Area, and sits adjacent to the Grade I listed St Andrews Church – one of the last medieval churches to be built in Norwich. The original office building was a mid-20th century four storey block, out of keeping with its older neighbours and offering a bland street presence. Hudson Architects’ design approach has been to work with the existing building to create a distinctive presence for Norwich University of the Arts, while contributing to Norwich’s diverse and intricate townscape and improving the public realm through a series of relatively simple yet highly effective new interventions.
The new East Gallery on the ground floor showcases work from national and international artists, contributing to the city’s urban landscape. The high quality display space has enabled the university to host exhibitions of both student’s artwork and that of internally renowned artists and was one of the key venues for the British Art Show 8 (a touring exhibition of the most exciting contemporary art produced in the UK) in summer 2016. On the first floor, dedicated office space for both teaching staff and the NUA Ideas Factory is provided. Intended for short term use, the Ideas Factory is designed to help accelerate the set up of digital creative businesses. The building provides invaluable space for graduates growing businesses which will become the drivers of Norwich’s economy in the future. A new distinctive tower breaks from the redeveloped block, clad in a Jura limestone, the colour of which compliments materials used in adjacent buildings.
The development, which commenced in the summer of 2014, follows a succession of capital projects by Hudson Architects for the Norwich University of the Arts and completed at a cost of £2.3 million in winter 2015/2016 alongside Boardman House – a new School of Architecture for the university.