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NUA building to open to public to reveal architectural heritage

Norwich’s historical legacy as a provider of education in art and design will be highlighted in this year’s Heritage Open Days event as the Norwich University of the Arts is to open one of its oldest buildings to the public.

Established in 1845 as a School of Design, the University provided a vital source of trained designers for the city’s flourishing textile industry. The NUA campus is based around St Georges Street on the bank of the River Wensum and includes seven buildings.

NUA’s Monastery Media Lab is a recently refurbished building of historical and architectural interest to both novice and expert. The Victorian Monastery Court was constructed for religious use, later used as an upholstery workshop and is now home to state-of-the-art Animation and Games Art and Design studios. The building will be opened to visitors on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 September as part of Heritage Open Days.


Window detail in the Monastery Media Lab

Heritage Open Days is England’s largest and most popular voluntary cultural event, celebrating architecture and culture by offering free access to events and interesting properties which are usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission.

Sophie Cabot, Engagement Manager at Norwich Heritage Economic and Regeneration Trust (HEART), says: “Heritage Open Days redefine how we discover and celebrate our past – with a four-day festival that throws open the doors of thousands of historic buildings, bringing to life the people, stories, adventures and eccentricities that make our heritage unique.”

Guided tours of the site will begin at 11am, 1pm and 3pm on both days, from a welcome desk situated in the East Garth outside the photography buildings. Visitors are requested to arrive in plenty of time to join one of the tours.

In Norwich, HEART has co-ordinated HODs since 2005, with the programme growing year on year. With 208 free events in 2013 – including open buildings, guided tours and walks, exhibitions and performances across Norfolk, there’s plenty to see and do across the long heritage weekend.

The majority of the events are drop-in events, however some require pre-booking. Personalised itineraries can be created and email booking will be available for the majority of pre-bookable events for the first time. For more information visit www.heritagecity.org/hods or follow @norwichheart on Twitter.


Professor John Last, NUA Vice-Chancellor, in the Monastery Media Lab

Staircase and windows

Staircase and window arches in the Monastery Media Lab


Circular window in the Monastery Media Lab

Window and beams

Window arch and beams in the Monastery Media Lab

Press and media

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Staff and students featured in NUA press releases are available for further comment.

Interview requests

Our academic staff are leading practitioners and researchers in the fields of the arts, design and media. They are available to provide expert comment on regional, national and international news stories related to higher education and the creative arts.

On campus filming and photography

All camera crews and photographers need advance permission to operate on the NUA campus. Alternatively the University has a wealth of photography and footage which can be provided on request.


Members of the press are welcome to attend all events at NUA. Most exhibitions on the campus, including the Degree Shows, will have a private view event in advance of the public opening for the press and special guests. Details of these events are available on request.

Press visits

We are delighted to arrange campus tours and on-campus interviews with staff and students.

Media Contact

Paul Hill
Head of Communications

Call +44 (0) 1603 753270
email press@nua.ac.uk