Bangor University, Wales, has selected Miller Construction for the development of its £40m Pontio arts and innovation centre.
Miller will join a team of firms including Atkins, architects Grimshaw and Arup (who are already working on the Pontio project) and Mace, who are acting as project manager. The 10,000 square metre building will provide a link from the city’s Memorial Arch to the university’s main building.
It will feature a 500-seat theatre, a studio theatre, cinema, restaurant, bars, a new students’ union building, teaching and learning spaces, a multimedia centre, a rehearsal room and an outdoor performance space.
The two main rooms will allow audiences to experience a range of performance styles, including proscenium arch, theatre-in-the-round, promenade theatre as well as different genres of performances including drama, dance, opera, film and circus.
Outdoor performance spaces in College Park will provide a new venue for drama and outdoor performances in summer months. The centre will also have digital showcase facilities to display work using modern digital technology.
Public performance spaces in the facility will be designed to offer open social spaces, parks and cafes, while an outdoor amphitheatre will offer a place for people of all ages to meet there.
The centre will be designed to exploit natural daylight, ventilation and re-use its own warm air, meaning lighting and heating systems will operate only when needed.
The Welsh Government and the European Regional Development Fund will provide £27.5m for the construction of the centre. Construction on the project is expected to begin in May / June 2011, with the centre scheduled to open in spring 2014.