Since its completion in 2005, the Galeri Caernarfon has been an unqualified success both as a venue for the visual and performing arts but also as a centre for the many creative industries that have formed around the use of the Welsh language that is so culturally and economically important to both the Town and the wider North Wales region. An economic report commissioned by the Welsh Government in 2013 found that:
‘In terms of economic impact the headline figures from the research illustrate that the development of Galeri Caernarfon Creative Enterprise Centre has had a strong impact on the local economy. Through its provision of space and expertise for local creative companies Galeri Caernarfon is also contributing to developing the local economic infrastructure and making a positive impact on its diversity as well as using a range of local suppliers.'
However as with any business, the same report also highlighted that:
‘The challenge now for Galeri Caernarfon is to continue to sustain this impact and continue to develop its brand and cultural programme while continuing to generate income.’
Our continuing good relationship with the Galeri has brought us back to the project on two occasions now to assist in their efforts to sustain that economic impact and extend and alter the buildings facilities to keep pace with changing demand. Previously we extended and modified the theatre space to provide facilities for performers and additional backstage functionality. Latterly, following an ACW funded feasibility study in 2014, our latest proposal looks to separate the cinema function from the existing main auditorium space and provide 2 dedicated film theatres within a new extension building. In doing so, the main theatre would no longer require constant adaption and reconfiguration to cinema mode whilst the two new smaller auditoria would also be capable of small scale lecture and performance uses.
Connecting through to the existing building circulation on all three levels, the form of the extension also continues the warehouse like appearance of the existing centre with a series of parallel, pitched roof volumes separated by a rectilinear plantroom. Locating the cinemas on first floor allows the ground floor to provide a new entrance and double height foyer space that addresses the three-sided external courtyard formed between the Galeri, the cinema extension and the historic Goleuad dockside building. Materially, the extension is to be clad in a robust, standing seam zinc sheet to the walls and roof, emphasising the volumes of the cinemas spaces within, with large areas of glazing to the gabled courtyard elevation and ground floor.
The building was completed and officially opened in September 2018.
|Architects||Richard Murphy, James Mason, Martin Lambie, Iain Masterman, James Cockburn|
|M&E Engineers||Hulley & Kirkwood|
|Acoustic Engineers||Sandy Brown Associates|
|Construction Cost||£3.3 million|