The Daphne Oram creative arts building has been Highly Commended in The Canterbury Society’s Design Awards.

The awards aim to recognise and celebrate buildings, spaces and places that are of value to the community. The Daphne Oram building was Highly Commended in the ‘New Building in a Conservation Area’ category.

The building, designed by Nicholas Hare Architects (plus executive architects BDP Architects) was officially opened in 2019, by Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England and former Director of the Tate Gallery. The building’s bold facilities for music, performance, games design, media, photography and graphic design aim to inspire and support future generations of creative professionals and entrepreneurs.

Named after Christ Church academic and music pioneer, Daphne Oram, the building celebrates its surrounding heritage by its orientation, framing views of the cathedral, and by revealing the archaeology of the abbey wall below through a series of floor vision panels both within and outside the building.

Located within the Canterbury UNESCO World Heritage Site the Daphne Oram creative arts building delivers new facilities for the University, that contribute to the social and economic development of the region through the development of skills needed in the creative industries. “The building provides generous floor to ceiling heights to accommodate high specification photography, studio and performance spaces. These spaces enable the University to meet future learning and teaching needs and incorporate new activities and specialist facilities.

Stephen HawkinsDeputy Director of Estates & Facilities at Canterbury Christ Church

The Canterbury Society’s judging panel said: “This building is well-sited, sitting in its context comfortably, both within the campus and from the street. The staggered volumes play a key role in reducing the visual impact of this large building. Detailed in a crisp modern fashion, the strong geometric forms make a striking addition to the campus, yet the traditional materials keep the building grounded in its surroundings.” 

Find out more about the University's Estate Master Plan.