Ruskin interior
Hard at work inside the new Ruskin School of Art building

New Ruskin School of Art building opens

Matt Pickles

The wait is over. The Ruskin School of Art's new building at 128 Bullingdon Road has officially opened today.
Featuring state-of-the-art facilities including a multi-media lab, three editing suites, a print room and wood and metal workshops, the new building makes the School a technologically sophisticated teaching and research environment.   

For the first time in its long history, the Ruskin has its own project space that can be used for exhibitions, performances and film screenings. Even the glass frontage of the building has a hi-tech element. Its large window facing the street can be transformed by one touch of a button into an outfacing computer display with its several panels serving as separate screens or as one enormous public interface.
Hanneke Grootenboer, Head of the Ruskin School of Art, said: 'The new studio facilities have been erected on the footprint of the previous studio space: the old Bullingdon Road spirit has risen from its ashes in the purpose-built industrial architectural setting that includes multimedia studios, a "fab lab", editing suites, print and casting rooms, metal and wood workshops and a seminar room.

'The Ruskin sees art as a vital component of contemporary culture with a broad range of practical, historical and theoretical references. Our dynamic interdisciplinary set-up allows us to sustain close relations with other departments and institutions across the University. 

'Committed to the highest standards of teaching and artistic research, we aim to strengthen the profile of fine art within the university community and beyond.'

Jon Roome from the Ruskin School of Art said: 'We were trying to achieve a space for making things, a place for making things happen. This building is our "cultural" particle accelerator, we collide ideas, generate high energy in the hope of creating new things in the world.'

Located on a predominantly residential street, the new building will bring the Ruskin School of Art closer to the vibrant, artistic community along the Cowley Road and in East Oxford. It is expected that the building will become a popular exhibition space for local residents.

This is the culmination of important changes to the Ruskin School of Art in recent years. Its name has changed from the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, to reflect the diversity of forms of art offered by the School. Its Master of Fine Art programme was launched under Turner Prize-winner Dr Elizabeth Price.