The WBS project began with a master plan to accommodate teaching and academic offices as part of the Social Studies Faculty at the University of Warwick campus. The overall aim is expanding the presence and activities of the Warwick Business School (WBS), over a four-phase development.
The mounded site lies within the Warwickshire Green Belt, adjacent to artificial lakes and divided from the main campus by an existing public highway. In the final phase of the master plan, the road will be treated with traffic calming measures to become a primary pedestrian area linking WBS to the main campus.
Phase 1 of the project includes a reception, MBA and Executive short course suites, and a post-graduate teaching centre comprising two raked 70-seat lecture theatres and breakout rooms. Phase 2 includes a remodelled reception and Dean’s office, a further raked lecture theatre, seminar rooms, academic offices, common rooms and administration. Phase 3 contains a post-graduate IT Centre and three raked 80-seat lecture theatres, seminar rooms and academic offices. Phase 4 will include main reception, refreshment areas, committee rooms and offices.
The development concept provides flexible and interconnected suites of offices, organised around single-banked corridors that maximise views towards the green belt landscape. The building form is arranged to create ‘collegiate’ courtyards, stepping down the contours of the site. Communal facilities are arranged along a generous circulation spine, both engaging with courtyards and social spaces, while also linking lecture theatres and seminar spaces.
The building envelope is a highly insulated airtight construction, with exposed internal mass providing a passive night cooling action. Combined with external louvers fixed to South West facing windows, the building achieves the required low energy criteria and highly stable internal conditions. Mechanical cooling is provided for the lecture theatres.
We were also commissioned to advise on internal decorations, choice of fabrics and loose furniture, and to deliver the bespoke design for special areas including landscaping the external courtyards. The completed building facilitates the continuing academic excellence of Warwick Business School. WBS is one of only 3 UK business schools to be awarded the top five-star research rating by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), with the MBA Course ranked 27th in the World / 9th in Europe.
Posted 3rd June 2012
Client: University of Warwick
Architect: John Miller + Partners
Value: c.£15M (Phases 1-4)
Professional Team: Various
Status: Completed 2007 (Phase 3)