Clore Leadership Programme
Clore Leadership Programme

Bricks and Mortar

Angus MacKechnie, Performing Arts Consortium Fellow 2014-15 explores the current challenges and opportunities facing cultural buildings.

Angus Mackechnie
Angus Mackechnie

'Concrete Inferno' by The World Famous at the National Theatre's Watch This Space Festival, 2012.

Photographer: Ludovic des Cognets (c) National Theatre 

It feels like there’s a big downer on cultural buildings at the moment. The notion of constructing something for culture that has walls and doors, and requires people to cross a threshold, is deeply unfashionable. Big capital projects, once a mainstay of British cultural development and the backbone of the national arts infrastructure, are no longer seen as the core element they once were. This seems to hold particularly true of buildings for the performing arts; with museums and galleries there is an acceptance that oil paintings and dinosaur bones and royal jewels need, at least, a roof to offer protection. But where there is a live interaction between audience and artist, where there is participatory involvement and where work is striving to be as accessible as possible, there is more ambiguity about the value, appeal or even necessity of a dedicated building. 

To read or download the full provocation paper, click below. 




The Clore Leadership Programme, South Building, Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA
Telephone: 00 44 (0) 20 7420 9430

Privacy Policy

Registered Charity Number 1105210
Company Limited by Guarantee in England and Wales Registered Number 5083008; VAT Number 882463303


Arts Council England     The Clore Duffield Foundation