University of Warwick
The Faculty of Arts building for the University of Warwick unites the Arts and Humanities Faculties in one building, fostering new collaborations in the heart of the University campus.
Set within the landscaped campus of the University of Warwick, the building acts as the cultural focus of the university, located at the end of the main route across campus and in between the Oculus Building and the Arts Centre.
Considered as four light-filled pavilions set around a grand central stair, each one houses teaching spaces, offices and academic clusters. In place of a traditional atrium, at ground level a large wooden stair spirals around a series of spaces for use as studios, exhibition and event spaces.
Designed to promote, provoke and enable interaction at all levels and scales, physical connections between the four faculty departments present the opportunity for serendipitous meetings and research collaborations. The result is a building that encourages a strong community of scholarship, teaching and learning.
In challenging the brief, we were able to reduce the footprint of the building, the volume of materials used, and create a building that will better serve the faculty of arts for its next chapter.
The number and size of standard academic offices and cellular space described in the brief was reduced, in favour of larger academic studios.
These resulted in a more than 450 linear meter reduction in internal partitioning, along with the associated glazed screens/doors and MEP equipment, and created a more open building, which promotes a sense of invitation and community and encourages higher levels of space use between scheduled teaching.
Two major new art pieces were commissioned for the building.
Matthew Raw’s Faith in the Miraculous is a bespoke ceramic mural at the entrance of the building that marks the inclusive, collaborative ambition of the building. He talks about the process of creating the piece in our Explore journal.
Raymond Antrobus visited the building during construction, responding to its landscape setting with a poem entitled Resonance. The poem is displayed in the foyer, and is read by the poet in our film.