The initial concept in the 1990s for National Glass Centre was to celebrate the heritage of glass making in Sunderland and develop a glass industry for the 21st century. In 1994 the Tyne and Wear Development Corporation held an open competition for the design of National Glass Centre and this was won by the architectural practice Gollifer Associates.
National Glass Centre was the recipient of the first major arts lottery award in the North East and the first Arts Lottery Funded building. In October 1998 HRH Prince Charles officially opened the Centre.
In May 2010, the University of Sunderland took over the running of National Glass Centre and in 2011 appointed a new director, James Bustard, with an impressive portfolio of work to his name, to progress the venue into the future.
Phase One: May – September 2012
The first phase of the development of National Glass Centre focused on new accommodation for the University of Sunderland’s Art & Design Foundation programme on the lower ground floor of the building. The Hot Glass Studios have been brought together and reoriented, greatly improving the visitor experience of the live production of glass, as well as our teaching facilities. The Shop, which lies adjacent to the Hot Glass Studio, has been remodelled to create a better shopping environment and improved merchandising.
Phase Two: January – June 2013
Phase Two saw significant investment in the upper ground floor galleries. This phase doubled the exhibition and events capacity of the Centre, upgrading and modernising the gallery spaces, education and resource rooms and enabling the Centre to better meet the needs of the visitor, schools and groups.
Facts and Figures
Head of Enterprise, Commissioning & the Studio
I am Head of Enterprise, Commissioning and the Studio at National Glass Centre at the University of Sunderland, England and am a member of the Senior Management Team.
My practice is interdisciplinary combining drawing, sculpture and film.
I am an Israeli artist based in the UK working primarily in kiln cast glass.
Glass Maker and Artist
I have worked at National Glass Centre since finishing my degree in 2005.
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Sara Jo Harrison joined National Glass Centre in 2012 to support the Centre's marketing and Communications strategy.
My work uses a range of media which acknowledges the interface between both traditional practice and new media.
Learning and Engagement Officer
Rachel joined National Glass Centre in 2007 to support the Centre's learning and engagement programme having completed MA Glass the previous year.
Kalki Mansel is one of National Glass Centre's resident glass artists.
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