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Wysing Arts Centre invites expressions of interest from architects to re-design aspects of our existing buildings to:
 

  • Make improvements to our gallery
  • Develop a flexible performance space
  • Develop a flexible production space
  • Make access improvements across the
          site
  • Put environmental sustainability at the
          centre of our capital plans

To download a PDF of the full information, including information on each building, click here.

Book onto one of our site tours on 5 December, 19 December or 9 January, click here.

Architect Open Call

Wysing Arts Centre is a pioneering workplace for artists. Established in 1989 and celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2019, Wysing’s 11 acre site in rural Cambridgeshire encompasses artist studios, a large gallery, a music recording studio, educational and project spaces, onsite accommodation, ceramics facilities, and outdoor space with sculpture.  

Through its innovative work, Wysing influences the development of the visual arts sector in the UK and beyond. As a respected and well-connected institution operating outside the usual gallery system and urban context, Wysing is uniquely positioned to develop programmes that provide opportunities for the exchange of knowledge and ideas, and which reflect on the role of art, artists, and arts organisations in society; acting as a testing ground for new ideas.  

Wysing is funded by Arts Council England through their National Portfolio and is a member of a number of national networks, including the Plus Tate network.

We want our site and buildings to reflect the ambition and scope of Wysing’s pioneering and radical programming. In addition, we want our site and buildings to be accessible, user friendly, and energy efficient. 

We want to make the best use of what we already have to carry out a cost-effective refurbishment at a total budget, including design, consultancy and build costs, of £350,000 - £500,000 (dependent on fundraising outcomes).

Site - Wysing is located on 11 acres of farmland, consisting mainly of grassland, fruit and other trees. It has been managed sustainably to allow areas to remain wild, and support wildlife. There are ten separate buildings on the site, including one artist-built structure. The buildings are clustered into one third of the overall site and create a campus-like feel. Due to the nature of Wysing, with some buildings designated as private studios and others, including reception, public facing, it can be confusing for new visitors to navigate. There are two graveled car parking areas. Some areas of the site are unpaved and unlit.

Current Buildings - Wysing is set on 11 acres of land that was previously a dairy farm. The site includes the original timbered farmhouse, aspects of which date back to the 17th century. A number of farm buildings have been converted into artists’ studios alongside new studio buildings which have been added more recently.

For these capital improvements, we would like to focus on the Gallery, Stableblock, Main Studio Building, Reception, Top Barn, Ceramics Studio and Tractor Shed.

Process - Wysing’s board of Trustees formed a working group in November 2018 to focus on site improvements. The group are taking the lead on site development and fundraising in collaboration with Wysing’s senior management team. The group have commissioned a report on the site buildings and an access report. They also instigated a public consultation process to solicit views on how Wysing’ site should be developed. The consultation and reports have shaped this brief.

We now invite expressions of interest from architects interested in working with the site strategy group and wider Wysing team to address the refurbishment of the site and buildings. Expressions of interest from architects should include:
 

  • Information on why you want to work
         with us.
  • Information on your ethos as a practice,
         including your approach to
         sustainability.
  • Examples of your previous work,
         at a similar scale.

Timeline - The deadline for expressions of interest is midnight on 12 January 2020. Worked up and costed plans to be developed by 9 March 2020. Wysing will be making an application to Arts Council England’s Small Scale Capital programme to fund the work, alongside applications to other Trusts and Foundations, in April 2020.

Funding - We hope to have sufficient funds raised to begin work in the autumn of 2020. We envisage planning for a phased approach so that we can prioritise initial works and continue to fundraise during the first phase of building work. If you are interested in supporting our capital plans, please email Mary Cork, Head of Development on mary.cork@wysingartscentre.org or call 01954 718881.

Open Days - If you would like to join a site tour and Q&A session with Wysing staff, please book onto one of our open days on 5 December, 19 December or 9 January. To book, click here.

The deadline for expressions of interest is midnight on 12 January 2020.

Download a detailed information pack, here.

There is no prescribed format for expressions of interest - whatever you feel is the best approach and format for you, in response to the questions.

We aim to shortlist 4-5 practices for interview and take one forward to develop worked-up plans.