Exterior shot of the Drawing Studio
Photography: Richard Bryant_arcaidimages.com

Architect Sir Peter Cook of CRAB Studio has christened his first UK building – a sinuous Drawing Studio at Arts University Bournemouth in Dorset.

‘The studio represents a fundamental recognition of the importance of drawing for all creative subjects,’ Sir Peter remarked at the grand opening yesterday. ‘I wanted to ensure I created a space which all students from all disciplines could make use of and feel inspired in.’

While the studio’s gestural design is an ocean blue alien, conceived as a one-room prefab. Its exterior is an almost seamless tensile steel shell with a rib cage shipped in from the Netherlands.

Inside, smooth white walls, gray floors and carefully controlled natural light create a calming space with a singular function. The studio’s exposures capture different qualities of light for the drawer.

A yawning opening points northwards to bring in even light (a window design pulled from Sir Cook’s earlier Kunsthaus Graz). The clerestory draws softer light in from the back while discrete light filters in beneath a bench; and a graded wash of light hugs the curve of the entryway.

AUB says the Drawing Studio is the first purpose-built drawing facility to be erected at a UK art school in a century.

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