West Lecture (1917)
Restoration is well underway on the West Lecture building, with it due to be completed in 2018.
The historic walls of this building have been braced with steel beams and concrete blocks to enable deconstruction of all internal elements except for the main stairwell.
The interior will be carefully reconstructed within the walls, ultimately becoming the home for two boutique cinemas, along with four apartments for artists-, writers- and scientists-in residence.
The design of the cinemas will enable them to be easily repurposed for speaking events such as seminars, conferences and community events.
A giant tower crane is being used to remove elements from the inside of the building, with everything being lifted out through a temporary hole in the roof.
As part of the restoration, West Lecture is being comprehensively strengthened by installing concrete skin walls on the inside of the historic facade. New concrete floors provide horizontal bracing.
The role of the Arts Centre is to foster and promote arts, culture, education and creativity and this one way it will achieve this goal. The intention is to work in partnership with funders to deliver the programme, while commercially leasing other spaces on the site will also help to make it financially viable.
Heritage and History
Nestled between the School of Art and Classics, West Lecture completes the Rolleston Avenue frontage and encloses both quads.
While principally home of the history department, West Lecture was shared by other departments and used for public lectures because it had the site’s largest and most accessible lecture theatre. From Rolleston Avenue, the right hand bay of windows steps up ¬ indicating the location of this lecture theatre.
Over the years the building housed the women’s common room and, when dormer windows were added to the attic in the 1940s, offices.