A landmark building located in the former P&O docks, provides two auditoria for film and video exhibition and conferences, an exhibition space, a café bar and education facilities. The design celebrates the experience of cinema going, and being the antithesis of the black-box space, it provides a contrast to its multiplex rivals. The foyers, café bar and offices have an open aspect which fully exploit the centre’s dockside location.
The building, completed in 1995, was shortlisted for The Sunday Times/Royal Fine Art Commission Building of the Year Award 1995 and gained a Civic Trust Commendation 1997. Harbour Lights is attributed with having had a leading influence on the design of a new generation of cinemas.