The artistic ambition of this project encompasses object-based visual art and time-based performance art, having its origins in the artist-run spaces of downtown New York and the work of artists engaged with urban spaces in the late 1960s. The site for the new building is in a part of central Nottingham called the Lace Market, whose history and built form has parallels with the cast-iron district of New York, giving the centre a loose cultural connection to its site. The design departed from the idea of offering a wide range of interiors inside a new building that have would the variety and specificity of the found spaces of a factory or warehouse. These spaces challenge both the production and the installation of contemporary art, and offer new ways for performers and audiences to interact. The exterior of the centre takes its inspiration from the amazing 19th-century buildings of Nottingham, and in particular, from the impressive facades of the Lace Market.