Cass Foundation Centre

Studio Downie Architects, West Sussex, 2006


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External view 

Anthony Coleman (website)     Download Original

  • External view    
  • The building seen from the lawn to the west    
  • The architect    
  • The lower storey gradually emerges.  New planting will soon spring up in the foreground    
  • Concrete ‘fingers’ connect  with the cut-chalk banks  5. The perimeter wall near the Foundation Centre has been rebuilt    
  • Shadow patterns of the timber fins    
  •  The big multi-purpose space at the heart of the building    
  • Looking south-east towards the Foundation Centre in its wooded grounds    
  •  Looking west in the library    
  • Internal view of the library    
  • The archive chamber    
  • The archive chamber    
  • Site plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • Long section    
  • Cross section    
  • Working details of a wall clad with vertical timbers    
  • Working details of a wall clad with verticle timbers    

The Foundation Centre houses the charity's 21st century British Sculpture archive and library

The building responds to the lines of the landscape within a triangular piece of land, a trapezoidal form is set down low into a small valley with a sedum planted roof. This forms a visual extension of the surrounding grass and with concrete fingers stretching into the chalk slopes, interlocking existing and new.

This lower element is also designed to conceal, enveloping the largest volume within the building, a 7m high display space, which partly protrudes through the sedum, reflecting the scale and material of Studio Downie's earlier visitor gallery in Goodwood.

Greys and whites refer to the indigenous flint and provide a starkness between inside and out, hard and soft. The calm, robust interior of exposed white concrete and blockwork walls contrast with the softness and changing spectrum of the outside landscape. Unlike the earlier visitor gallery where boundaries were blurred with a flow between inside and out, here there is clear separation with the fins linking to the copse.


  • Begun: Jun 2005
  • Completed: Feb 2006
  • Floor area: 535m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £760,000
  • Tender date: Jul 2004
  • Procurement: Standard JCT 98 with Amendments 1-5
  • Address: Sculpture Garden State, Goodwood, West Sussex, PO18 0QP, United Kingdom

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