West Dean College Masterplan

In Brief

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation


Autumn 2017

At the centre of West Dean College’s vision 2027 is a £25million masterplan by FCBStudios which will cement its position as a unique place of learning with a remarkable story and heritage.

The masterplan builds on the feasibility study undertaken in 2012, and centres on improving and expanding the academic and public facing facilities to support an increased student intake and raise the profile of the college.

Founded by poet and philanthropist Edward James, West Dean College also houses a significant collection of surrealist art including works by Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte. FCBStudios have proposed a new visitor entrance building which will create a formal ‘front door’ for the College, but perhaps more importantly provide exhibition space within which to celebrate the life, work and art collection of Edward James.  

The key moves in the masterplan include the relocation of the library and archive, which has outgrown its current home within West Dean House, to a new facility in the Sussex Barn and the creation of a new workshop building which would take advantage of the connection to the landscape, encouraging making and sculpture to spill outside against the backdrop of the rolling hills of West Dean.

The vision also includes a new 200 person lecture theatre, new student accommodation in cottages around the campus and modern offices and teaching spaces befitting its position amongst the top colleges for arts and conservation.