Nottingham Contemporary has been nominated for two awards in 2011: The European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture and the building is on the shortlist in the architecture category at the Brit Insurance Design Awards, too.
The art centre, designed by Caruso St John, opened its doors on 14 November 2009. It has already won a 2010 Royal Institute of British Architects Award for architectural excellence.
The architects wanted to design a building that would fit in with its surroundings and were inspired by the Lace Market, and the bold, elegant design of the warehouses. The building has been built on what is said to be the oldest site in the city.
The lace design on the exterior of the building came from samples from the factory of Richard Birkin, one of the largest and most innovative Nottingham lace producers in the 1800s.
The art centre has four gallery spaces with 132 adjustable skylights giving the curators great flexibility when it comes to lighting.
As well as the four galleries there is this study, with free Wi-Fi access, a performance space, learning space and cafe bar with terrace.
Nottingham Contemporary is built into a sandstone cliff. At 3,000 square metres it is one of the biggest contemporary art centres in the UK.
The scale of the building is best seen when viewing the height (or depth) of the performance space, with retractable seating for 200.
The cafe bar on the ground floor of Nottingham Contemporary is designed by New York artist Matthew Brannon and has a sun terrace from which you can watch the tram go by.
The steps at the side of the building have recreated a historic right of way from Cliff Road to Weekday Cross, linking the Broadmarsh with the Lace Market.
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