The Centre for the Arts is a purpose built artists facility in Kampala, Uganda.

Axonometric drawing

Commissioned by 32° East | Ugandan Arts Trust; a not for profit organisation promoting contemporary East African art and artists, the building will be the home of the Trust, providing studio space and accommodation for artists in residence as well as a gallery, a learning centre, office and a community cafe. Periscope is appointed as the project’s lead architect and are working in collaboration with a local partner.

Photograph of on site meeting

The centre has been designed in close collaboration with the Trust and the community of local artists who use the existing space on a daily basis. From actively exploring the original brief, establishing key themes and project principles, to conducting a series of workshops with the client organisation and artists on site we have used dialogue to determine the stakeholders’ aspirations and practical requirements for the project.

The facility is conceived as a campus landscape with courtyard pavilion buildings creating private and calm functional spaces focused on views into the site and to the sky. The pavilions are arranged sympathetically around retained landscape features such as trees, rock outcrops and the natural slopes of the site.

CGI view looking toward the gallery space

The buildings are designed to have a minimal impact on the environment (particularly important in this region where modern construction techniques cause high CO2 outputs, mass deforestation and flooding). Our buildings are constructed from handmade bricks pressed from earth taken from the site. Arranged in a ‘hit and miss’ pattern, the brick walls create dappled shade and screening from the elements whilst allowing for natural ventilation. Each pavilion has an individual form that responds to the building’s use and its location on the site, with tapered rectangular towers acting as funnels for natural daylight while diminishing solar glare and creating passive stack ventilation.

The project is due to start on site in mid-2020.

Photograph of 1:200 scale model

Photograph of compressed earth bricks

Photograph of traditional roadside bricks and kiln