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

Axonometric drawing showing proposals for the Centre for the Arts campus, with courtyard pavilions arranged sympathetically around retained landscape features, in Kampala, Uganda

Axonometric drawing

Commissioned by 32° East | Ugandan Arts Trust; a not for profit organisation promoting contemporary East African art and artists, our proposal for the centre was designed to 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's role included site planning and green infrastructure design.

Colleagues and clients meet on site in Kampala: the project has been designed in close collaboration through workshops both on-site and remotely with those who use the existing arts facility

Photograph of on site meeting

The centre was 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 used dialogue to determine the stakeholders’ aspirations and practical requirements for the project.

The facility was 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.

View looking toward the gallery space of the proposed Kampala Centre for the Arts - an active artists' campus with gallery, learning space, community cafe, studio space and accommodation for artists in residence, and permaculture garden providing food for those who live and work at the Centre

CGI view looking toward the gallery space

The project was 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). The primary construction material was planned to be brick, these were to be pressed from earth taken from the site, when 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 had an individual form that responded to it's use and location on the site. Tapered rectangular towers act as funnels for natural daylight while diminishing solar glare and creating passive stack ventilation and a permaculture garden on site provides food for those who live and work at the centre.

1:200 scale model of the proposed Centre for the Arts in Kampala, Uganda

Photograph of 1:200 scale model

Detail photograph of the compressed earth bricks proposed for use at the Centre for the Arts in Kampala, using earth taken from the site, one of the techniques Periscope proposes to reduce the project's impact on the environment

Photograph of compressed earth bricks

Traditional brick-making kilns at the roadside on a site visit in Kampala, Uganda

Photograph of traditional roadside bricks and kiln