From the beginning, the design was driven by the functional demands of the Centre, addressing their needs in terms of access, image and education. The brief also called for an unique auditorium space to create a memorable and flexible venue. The design solution offers level access to all floors. Detailing and structural methods were such that local labour skills and local sources of material could be used.
The Arrivals Building (shown on this page) is located to the south of the site, across the river Don from main activities.It welcomes visitors arriving by train or car, and offers ticketing facilities, a shop, and a cafe area, as well as a viewing deck over the river.