New Cultural Quarter in Ipswich, Westgate Retail, Suffolk Architecture Images, News

New Cultural Quarter in Ipswich

Contemporary Architecture in Westgate, Suffolk design by Waind Gohil + Potter Architects, England, UK

30 Aug 2019

New Cultural Quarter in Central Ipswich

Design: Waind Gohil + Potter, Architects

Location: Westgate, Ipswich, Southeast England, UK

New Cultural Quarter Ipswich

WG+P Architects (Waind Gohil + Potter) have designed a new theatre square and pavilion as part of a wider mixed-use development to revive the Westgate area of Ipswich. The 35,000 sqm site has been incorporated as part of Ipswich Borough Council’s development plan.

New Cultural Quarter in Ipswich: Westgate

Phase 1 of the masterplan is to improve the area outside the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich, including a new pavilion to be managed by the theatre.

The new square will become the Northwest gateway to Ipswich town centre, whilst the pavilion will become home to the theatre’s growing community engagement and creative learning programme.

The space has been ergonomically designed to encourage collaborative working and provide a Tech Hub for developing digital skills in arts practise for those in Ipswich and Suffolk. The team also worked alongside the theatre in order to ensure that the building design incorporates a Changing Places facility, in addition to accessible toilets, to provide facilities for those with complex needs visiting the town.

Phase 1 has received planning consent from Ipswich Borough Council who commented: ‘A key objective of the proposal is to provide both an innovative and high-quality design in ensuring its ambition is to raise the local standard of design whilst respectfully acknowledging the existing vernacular of the surrounding area, including referencing the form of its immediate context.’

WG+P’s design for the new pavilion utilises a pre-fabricated timber structure developed with structural engineers Price & Myers and incorporates a striking concertinaed gold coloured metal roof. The landscape design includes new planting, lighting, projections and street furniture.

New Cultural Quarter in Ipswich: Westgate

Phil Waind, Director with WG+P commented; ‘This is a wonderful opportunity for us to create something delightful within the space and for all who visit Ipswich. The Willis Building, being one of our favourites, is a short distance away and we wanted a design that aspires and uses construction methods relevant to today. The new public space and building will fundamentally support The New Wolsey Theatre and allow them to maintain and enhance their status as a cultural landmark in the heart of Ipswich.’

Sarah Holmes, Chief Executive at the New Wolsey Theatre said; ‘It’s been an absolute delight to work in partnership with WG+P on this vital project. The marvellous golden-roofed pavilion they have designed for us will enable our community programme to flourish and for the first time brings our performance and participation work together on one site. It will absolutely bring new life to the area around the theatre as well as transforming our audiences approach to the New Wolsey Theatre’.

The site owner Peter de Savary of Charterhouse Investments commented: ‘We hope this project can set an example to others of where public / private partnerships can deliver regeneration and community benefit in this otherwise distressed market’.

Phase 1 is to commence in August 2019 with local main contactor Gipping and quantity surveyor Daniel Connal Partnership, and work commencing on the new building from September 2020.’

New Cultural Quarter in Ipswich: Westgate


Waind Gohil + Potter Architects is a RIBA Chartered practice based in West London, working in the housing, leisure, community and emerging wellness sectors. Designing ‘for’ construction / fabrication, WG+P devise a clear strategy to meet the various scales of requirement, opportunity, context, cost and programme, with the process providing form, materiality, decoration and sustainability of contemporary built results. As well as undertaking commercial projects, WG+P apply research and development in construction methods and emerging sectors, and lecture at schools of architecture. @wgp_architects

The New Wolsey Theatre: The New Wolsey Theatre is nationally renowned for the quality and diversity of its productions, both as a sole producer, and in collaboration with a diverse range of artists and companies. With a particular reputation for musical work, often employing actor-musicians, the New Wolsey is a leading player in the development of new musicals, staging the world premieres of It’s A Wonderful Life, 20th Century Boy, Mods & Rox, Miss Nightingale, Midsummer Songs, Oxy & the Morons and Our Blue Heaven.

As part of the Arts Council England funded Strategic Touring Project Ramps on the Moon, the theatre toured the second production of the project The Who’s Tommy in 2017, winner of the UK Theatre award for Best Touring Production. The New Wolsey Theatre is committed to developing new talent and new voices.

Their annual PULSE Festival acts as a springboard for new and emerging artists, and they run an extensive Creative Learning programme providing opportunities for young people. As a not-for-profit organisation and a registered charity, they are funded by the Arts Council England, Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Borough Council as well as through the invaluable donations, individual giving and corporate support of their many friends, patrons and sponsors.

New Cultural Quarter in Ipswich images / information received 300819 from Waind Gohil + Potter

Location: Ipswich, Suffolk, south east England, UK

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