The Ruthin Craft Centre is both an internationally renowned venue for contemporary crafts and an important focus of educational and leisure activities for the local community.
The design concept worked with and enhanced the essential characteristics of the former building, its courtyard typology and its relationship with the surrounding landscape. The external form of the building is a complex composition of sloping roofs which shift in plan and section, quietly reminiscent of the Clywdian range above the site. Zinc panels of varying width wrap over roof and wall, with weave-like seam arrangements. The concrete walls, cast on the ground and then tilted up into place, are pigmented to give a clay-red hue, referencing the local red sandstone used on civic buildings nearby.
There are three gallery spaces, arranged to allow a variety of routes and sequences to suit the requirements and ambitions of each exhibition. The retail gallery is accessed from the main entrance and has large windows, making it visible from the outside. The restaurant is located on the northern side of the courtyard with a south-facing terrace and, next to it, six workshop studios are arranged in a row with service entrances on the north side and ‘shopfront’ entrances from the courtyard. The education room, two studios for artists in residence, the Tourist Information Centre and the administration areas are located on the southern side with entry and views into the courtyard.
The courtyard creates an important transitional space connecting the restaurant, education facilities, workshops, studios and entrance hall that open directly onto it and provides a new and lively communal space for the local community.