After a nine-year period of renovation and refurbishment, the revered and much-loved arts centre - originally designed by Sir Basil Spence and opened as the Gardner Arts Centre as part of University of Sussex campus in 1969 -reopened in 2016. The building takes its new title in tribute of the University’s former Chancellor Lord (Richard) Attenborough and his family.
The building was restored by Brighton based RH Partnership architects, working in collaboration with Anne Minors Performance Consultants and Sound Space Design. The architects’ restoration of the Grade II* listed building was nominated for a RIBA regional award.
The space now hosts a state-of-the-art flexible auditorium with up to 350 seats (480 standing), studio areas designed for art and audiovisual installations, rehearsal spaces, meeting rooms and a new café bar. As well as a year round artistic programme ACCA hosts conferences, events for the University of Sussex campus community and is also used for teaching.