Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA) / Sheppard Robson

© Hufton+Crow

Architect: Sheppard Robson
Location: , UK
Client: Lancaster University
M&E Engineer: Hoare Lee
Structural Engineer: SKM Consulting
Contractor: Morgan Sindall
Project Year: 2010
Project Area: 4,900 sqm
Photographs: Hufton+Crow

© Hufton+Crow

In 2011 the Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA) became the first higher education building and only the second building ever to receive a BREEAM Outstanding rating post-completion. The Institute houses a range of flexible performance and workshop spaces that support an exciting programme of music, drama, design and fine art. The design was developed as an exploration of the interplay between nature and the manmade, inspired by the woodland setting.

© Hufton+Crow

Daylight floods the teaching and research areas and light timber finishes lend both brightness and texture to the interiors. A highly innovative, prefabricated cross-laminated timber structure provides high levels of airtightness and also enabled a quick and safe construction programme. Other sustainable features include photovoltaics, a heat recovery system, natural ventilation and rainwater recycling. Embodying design quality and creativity, LICA is a fitting showcase for the Institute’s creative activities.

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Cite: "Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA) / Sheppard Robson" 07 Jan 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <>
  • cw

    poor article. not much content and not even a full set of drawings. I would like to know more about this building but sadly am disappointed by the low standard of this article compared to usual.

  • Santosh Khanjodkar

    prity much simple building and article doesn’t describes much of it

  • M smith

    thought the pic’s were nice but not much info to go on

  • standards? what standards?

    Good Lord ,this is God-awful marketing tripe and a very poor copy of HdM’s Laban. Please sack the person who designed it and the person who cannot be bothered to write about it…

  • T Smith

    @ standards? what standards?
    I think you’ll find that this owes very little to the Laban Centre. Yes, this building is using the same polycarbonate (Rodeca) but does not use the more advanced ventillated cavity seen at the Laban. Nor does it use concrete throughout as structure, which allows the Laban to be much more gestural, especially in the foyer. This is strictly cartesian in plan and elevation, which is a nice change from the Laban’s ‘almost curve’. The use of engineered timber gives the interiors a warmth not felt at the Laban as well, although I’m amazed that they weren’t able to hide the service ducts in the main hall…

    • standards

      exactly as i said – a poor copy of the Laban. poor detailing. what is your point Agent Smith?