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  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. University
  4. United Kingdom
  5. Arup Associates
  6. 2012
  7. Coventry University, Faculty of Engineering and Computing / Arup Associates

Coventry University, Faculty of Engineering and Computing / Arup Associates

  • 15:00 - 15 December, 2015
Coventry University, Faculty of Engineering and Computing / Arup Associates
Coventry University, Faculty of Engineering and Computing / Arup Associates, © Simon Kennedy
© Simon Kennedy

© Simon Kennedy © Simon Kennedy © Simon Kennedy © Simon Kennedy + 25

  • Main Contractor

    Vinci Construction Ltd
  • Landscape Architect

    Gillespies
  • QS

    Gardiner & Theobald
  • Project Manager

    Davis Langdon
  • BREEAM consultants

    Cyril Sweett
  • Planning consultant

    Turnberry Consulting
  • More Specs Less Specs
© Simon Kennedy
© Simon Kennedy

Text description provided by the architects. Arup Associates’ architecture and engineering design for Coventry University’s new Faculty of Engineering and Computing embraces the university’s progressive, experiential approach to teaching these subjects.

© Simon Kennedy
© Simon Kennedy

The environmentally led design encourages an open and free exchange of ideas across disciplines. This creates new synergies within an activity-led, project-based learning approach.

Diagram 1
Diagram 1

State-of-the-art Facilities.

Relatively modest in scale, the BREEAM ‘Excellent’ building emphasises and celebrates people and the learning experience while making use of radical technical innovation. It includes:

-A high-performance engineering centre with flight simulators and engine test cells

-A high-precision wind tunnel testing facility

© Simon Kennedy
© Simon Kennedy

-Two lecture theatres that can be subdivided for conferences

-Collaborative classrooms for 4,000 students, including IT workspaces

© Simon Kennedy
© Simon Kennedy

-Communal interactive spaces with learning booths

-Integrated academic offices, driving new research and teaching

-All linked by a state-of-the-art communications backbone

© Simon Kennedy
© Simon Kennedy

A radical reinvention of circulation.

From the beginning, Arup Associates rejected the typical model for an academic building – a series of separate independent spaces united by a circulation space. Instead, the architects focussed on interconnected, flexible spaces that are both inhabited and used for circulation.

© Simon Kennedy
© Simon Kennedy

The unifying means of circulation allows people to navigate intuitively around and between the building’s different levels. In this spatially rich, fluid building, smaller spaces juxtaposed with larger atria provide places for staff and students to circulate, read, learn, communicate, and interact as part of the wider faculty community. Teaching breaks out of the confines of lecture theatres and classrooms into the informal spaces.

© Simon Kennedy
© Simon Kennedy

Natural lighting and ventilation – with the volume of the atrium used to draw fresh air through the building – gives people control of their environment. Whether it’s opening a window, navigating easily or choosing the space where they work best, this building puts occupants in charge.

Diagram 2
Diagram 2

The Building Becomes a Learning Tool.

With the university keen to give students every possible opportunity to learn practically, Arup Associates conceived an approach whereby the building itself would become a learning tool.

© Simon Kennedy
© Simon Kennedy

The result is a highly readable building offering a rich, dynamic experience. Engineering students can study the forces at work on the concrete and steel, and they can see how services wind their way around the building.

Upper Floor Plan
Upper Floor Plan

In one zone, floating modular spaces known as ‘the planets’ hang from structural steelwork, giving students the chance to experience the forces at work on a practical level. Meanwhile, exposed services are closely coordinated into electrical, mechanical and public health zones so that students can follow their path around the building.

© Simon Kennedy
© Simon Kennedy

A Lean and Dynamic Structure.

As well as encouraging and celebrating students’ commitment to engineering, the building is itself brave and innovative. The potential of every element in its concrete frame has been maximised to produce a raw, robust and dramatic structure.

Detail
Detail

The design-and-build approached rationalised the building down to the last detail. But this isn’t an architecture whose success hangs on the detail; its qualities are intrinsic to the building. With everything exposed there were no layers of complexity and there was no need for a huge fixtures, fittings and equipment budget.

© Simon Kennedy
© Simon Kennedy
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Coventry University, Faculty of Engineering and Computing / Arup Associates" 15 Dec 2015. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/778808/coventry-university-faculty-of-engineering-and-computing-arup-associates/> ISSN 0719-8884
© Simon Kennedy

考文垂大学,工程与计算机学院 / Arup Associates