Edward Davies Building

The Edward Davies buildingThe School occupies one the finest examples of architecture in Aberystwyth. The Edward Davies Building, a listed building that celebrated its centenary in 2007, retains many of its original features, but has been carefully adapted to meet the needs of today’s fine art education. It is an elegant symbol of the School’s aim to join the traditional and the contemporary.

Set in its own grounds, the building houses spacious, well-lit studios, darkrooms, print workshops, a Mac suite, as well as lecture theatres and seminar rooms. Allowing students to move with ease from one area of study to another and to remain in close contact with the staff, the proximity of the postgraduate working spaces fosters a strong sense of community and cooperation.

The building also accommodates a museum, modern galleries, and extensive art archives. At the heart of the teaching programme, these resources express the School’s commitment to serving the interests of the public that come to our student exhibitions.

 

History of the Edward Davies Building

Old photograph of the Edward Davies buildingThe Edward Davies Building, now Grade II listed, was the first purpose-built chemical laboratory in a British university. It was designed by Alfred W. S. Cross (1858-1932), opened in 1907 by Lord Asquith and remained a functioning Chemistry Department until 1988. The building is situated on Buarth Mawr over looking the town and Cardigan Bay; its grand ‘Wrenaissance’-style façade incorporating two wings and a central cupola resembles a municipal art museum.

The School of Art (formerly the Visual Art Department) moved here in December 1993 but it was not officially opened as such until 1995. The Building was officially reopened in March 1995 by Professor Kenneth O Morgan, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wales Aberystwyth, and a lecture was given by the artist Kyffin Williams.‌

 

One of the chemistry laboratories in the 1980s

The same space now being used as a painting studio

 

Architect plans