Uni opens new Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts

The mysterious building behind Falmer bar is finally open again

Uni bosses have officially re-opened the uni’s Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts after its multi-million pound refurbishment.

The Grade II listed building, which was designed by Sir Basil Spence in the 1960s, was closed in 2007 for improvement works.

Formerly known as The Gardener Centre, the re-naming of the building pays tribute to the former Chancellor, Lord Richard Attenborough, who sadly passed away in August last year.

The building interior has been given a modern and open design which features a 350 seat auditorium, rehearsal studios and “breakout creativity zones”.

The centre will play host to a range of performances and exhibitions alongside being a teaching and research facility for the university.

Attenborough Centre

The newly refurbished Attenborough Centre

(Copyright Jim Stephenson 2015)

The 350 seat auditorium (Copyright Jim Stephenson 2015)

Over the past weekend, a film showcasing clips and stills from a selection of Attenborough’s works was beamed onto the side of the building.

Featuring images from his most memorable roles including Jurassic Park and Brighton Rock, the film also presented scenes from Gandhi and Chaplin – works Lord Attenborough directed.

Jurassic Park: one of Attenborough's most famous roles

Jurassic Park: one of Attenborough’s most famous roles

Sussex film student Noor Alnaqeeb was given the opportunity to work for Nina Dunn on the project as an editor. Speaking to her about the experience she said: “It was a privilege to work with the talented Nina Dunn and Kati Byrne to commemorate the life of a man whose impact on the film industry has echoed throughout generations and will continue to do so.”


Vice Chancellor Professor Michael Farthing recalled how Lord Attenborough formed a memorable part of the university’s community.

“He had a gift for making any staff or student he met feel very special.”

A collection of previously unseen family photos have also been released

A collection of previously unseen family photos have also been released

A public performance programme at the new centre will launch in the spring of 2016.  For those of you who didn’t manage to see the tribute to Lord Attenborough, a video of the projection is below.