“Overhang” is a cultural centre based around its focal point of gathering and performance - a theatre overhanging the foyer. Based in Preston, the project is an interpretation of creating a “guild” for the city, housing a spectrum of arts like music, dance, acting, and cinematography. This includes theatre spaces, dance and music rehearsal rooms, music studios, entertainment spaces, a gallery, a library, bars, and backstage ensuring smooth operation of the venue. The spaces aim to bring people from Preston together in an atmosphere of celebration of arts, history, and culture. An outside Roman-inspired theatre with circular steps is also a focal point of gathering. An arc welcomes visitors from the main South entry point into the courtyard, revealing simple shapes and materiality, but also a variety of textures and iterations of those materials. Brick is predominantly used on the level of the neighbouring buildings, in perforated form, curved walls, and regular facades. The theatre, spanning over the rest of the structure, is covered by a light corrugated aluminium sheet that is perforated in the pattern running along the whole project which is inspired by a flower fabric designed in Preston, bringing in the history of the site as it used to be a cotton mill.
This arts centre incorporates Continuity in Architecture’s ethos and culture by continuing Preston’s history while incorporating its past of cinematography and theatre, which are currently missing in the town. Neighbouring buildings on the site, part of a conservation area, have been preserved and reused to house music shops and entertainment spaces. They are connected to the building and refurbished for new use, creating two more entry points.
The project expresses the complexity and coming together of simple shapes enhanced by light, space thresholds, and materiality to form awe-provoking spaces of culture, performance, and music.