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Warwick Arts Centre


Warwick Arts Centre is situated at the University of Warwick in Coventry and is one of the largest single arts centres in the UK. Warwick University commissioned the building of an arts centre in 1970 and it opened in October 1974. Designed by architects Renton, Howard, Wood Associates, the building won a RIBA award. The original centre included a Theatre (573 seats), a Studio Theatre (150 seats), a Conference Room (250 seats), a Music Centre with an Ensemble Room (100 seats) and 9 practice rooms, as well as a bookshop, bars, workshop, dressing rooms and office space. Butterworth Hall, a flexible concert hall seating up to 1500, was added to the complex in 1981 and in 1986, further expansion included the construction of the Mead Gallery, which provided 6000 square feet of exhibition space, a cinema seating 225, a new bookshop and restaurant area. In 1997, the Arts Centre was renovated, which included installing a new glass atrium roof in the foyer and lift access to the upper floors. In 2009, the redevelopment of The Butterworth Hall saw increased benefits for both performer and audience, with improved acoustics, new seating and furnishing, enhanced stage and backstage space. This also included a creative learning block providing an education suite and further rehearsal space.

Built / Converted
Dates of use
  • 1974 : continuing
Current state
Current use
Arts Centre
University of Warwick, Coventry, Warwickshire, CV4 7AL, England
Further details
Other names
  • 1974 Use: continuing
  • 1974 Design/Construction:
    - Architect
  • 1976 Design/Construction:
    John Bury
    - Consultant
    Theatre Projects
    - Consultant
    Hall Stage Equipment
    - Consultant
  • 1981 Alteration: extended to include concert hall
    - Architect
  • 1986 Alteration: extended to include gallery and film theatre
    - Architect
  • 1997 Alteration: Alterations and refurbishment, including new glass atrium in the foyer
  • 2009 Alteration: Major £8m alteration and refurbishment programme
  • Capacity
    Theatre: 573
    Butterworth hall: 1500
  • Capacity
    Theatre: 550
    Butterworth hall: 1300 seated/ 1850 standing
  • Listing
    Not listed
Stage type
Adaptable, flexible, proscenium and other
Building dimensions: -
Stage dimensions: Depth: 9.3m (30ft 6in) Width: 20m (65ft 8in)
Proscenium width: 10.95m (36ft)
Height to grid: -
Inside proscenium: -
Orchestra pit: -