A world-class teaching and research facility which promotes successful University and industry collaboration.

The University of Bath, School of Management

Location Bath
Client The University of Bath

A brief history

Six years in the making, the School of Management is a testament to collaboration and marks the latest chapter in AWW’s relationship with the University of Bath.

The initial concept and planning approval were developed by Hopkins Architects. Working with the principal contractor, Bouygues, and alongside Hopkins, AWW as Executive Architects developed a reimagined scheme to take through to construction which addressed the changing nature of HE curriculum delivery in a post pandemic landscape.

Vision

The University of Bath wanted to host its exemplary School of Management offering in a single gateway campus building.

The shared expertise of the whole team has delivered a truly collaborative space with openness and transparency at its core. The new building is designed to elevate co-working opportunities and to showcase achievement.

Design intent

The new School and public realm form a landmark entrance to the campus and act as a bridge to the expansive parkland beyond. Extensive glazed elevations showcase the building in a radical departure from the prevailing campus architecture.

The building’s two arms emerge from a central node, each wing housing an array of academic and research space. A central junction forms the entrance to the public realm and celebrates the expansive parkland views. Nestled between the two sections of the building, the double-height pavilion - with glazed elevations and an elegant timber ceiling - acts as the social and collaborative heart. To the rear, eight lecture theatres offer a variety of teaching environments in addition to the 250-seater conference theatre.

Design delivery

AWW’s initial engagement with stakeholders established many of the key features found in the completed building. As Executive Architect, we then re-engineered the initial scheme to deliver a carefully refined execution.

Our interior design team also designed, specified and arranged the installation of furniture to enhance and support the diverse range of environments.

The University had collaborative access to the model throughout the design stages, with bespoke structured data output provided for their own facilities management system. AWW worked with Bouygues and the University from the outset to agree deliverables, before implementing these through the life of the project. This support for the University’s digital asset management aspirations was an important next step in driving co-ordination and efficiency on site.

Sustainability

The School’s design is focused on building performance and occupant health and wellbeing.

Using TM54 to accurately predict operational energy use, the building is set to improve on RIBA 2030 target standards. Mixed mode ventilation optimises energy performance and thermal comfort, with the building’s exposed thermal mass used for natural vent night-time cooling.

Although conceived in 2016-18, the design exceeds the new 2019 CO2e benchmark: optimising material use through a ‘Design Lean’ approach was key to this.

Biodiversity net gain measures include the building footprint offset by an equivalent area of protected parkland from developable brownfield land plus a green roof over the 1,000m2 Pavilion.

Wellbeing and User Experience

Transparency has driven the design: clear lines of sight to green parkland from every office and research space ensure that occupants are connected to the natural environment. The breakout pavilion and engagement spaces fuse café culture with collaborative study, bringing an energy to the heart of the building.

With the entire School of Management now under one roof, the University has enabled deeper connectivity, encouraging innovation and the cross-pollination of ideas.

Despite the building’s vast scale, the internal layout has been intelligently configured to ensure ease of wayfinding and access for all.

Flexibility in use

The upper floors of the building employ a wide bay, flat concrete slab structural arrangement that can accommodate many potential uses. Being left vacant for future fit out, this has been further future proofed with the inclusion of dedicated access points for plant and material installation without needing to interrupt the rest of the building.

Transparency

The seamless flow of space provides an array of opportunities to study and learn in what ever way suits the task at hand.

Collaborative Heart

The social power house of the school – the pavilion is a dynamic setting to work, rest and collaborate.

This is truly a landmark project for the school and the University, offering a bold and distinctive new approach to the campus and a transformative environment in which to teach and learn. The collaborative spirit in which the project was delivered, is borne out in the refined and elegant design

Charles Jordan, Director

Refined elegance

A restrained and simple colour pallet allied to clean and elegant use of metalwork and glass creates a timeless façade through which the school can showcase its operations.

Connected

The entire school under one roof, brings together staff students and industry partners connecting them with each other and the campus.