New School of Architecture, Reading Building Refurbishment, Development, English Architecture

New School of Architecture in Reading

English Educational Facility Refurbishment – design by Hawkins\Brown

23 Jun 2015

New School of Architecture Reading

Design: Hawkins\Brown

Location: Reading, Berkshire, England, UK

The University of Reading has appointed award-winning Hawkins\Brown to create the future home for its new School of Architecture.

New School of Architecture

The School of Architecture will be housed in a retrofitted 1970s concrete brutalist building originally designed by Howell, Killick, Partridge & Amis. The building is located at the heart of the Whiteknights campus and hosts the existing School of Construction Management and Engineering. It is well-known by several generations of Reading graduates in the property and construction sectors.

New School of Architecture

The retrofit will seek to re-imagine the building inside and out, as a functional space for its occupants and also as a welcoming hub for visitors and public events. The School of Architecture will sit alongside the School of Construction Management and Engineering to realise interdisciplinary synergies. The extended building will also host the departments of Art and Typography & Graphic Communication from within the School of Arts and Communication Design.

New School of Architecture

A brief is currently being developed to ensure that the spaces created within the building match the ambition and excellence of the four occupying academic departments. It is further intended that the retrofitted building will realise significant improvements in energy efficiency, thereby demonstrating the University’s commitment to sustainability.

Professor Lorraine Farrelly, Foundation Professor in Architecture at the University of Reading said:
“The retrofit of this well-known building on campus is a unique opportunity. While modernising the building is key to this project, it is important to respect the original design. Hawkins\Brown is very experienced at working with similar concrete structures and specialise in designing educational facilities across the UK. Our students will have an environment and experience that is second to none.”

New School of Architecture

“Through careful consideration of the existing fabric and the proposed new functions, the building will offer a new generation of students a stimulating learning environment. New spaces will provide opportunities for inter-disciplinary collaboration, as well as modern studios and interactive workshop facilities. In addition, the creation of new exhibition and gallery areas will allow students to showcase their work to the university community and the town of Reading.”

Adam Cossey, associate at Hawkins\Brown and former University of Reading student said: “This is an exciting project and an opportunity to improve the thermal efficiency of the building envelope, whilst remaining sympathetic to its original design. Simple decisions made at the early stages of a project can have significant impacts on the ultimate performance of a building so we will work closely with the University to establish clear targets in respect of its sustainability ambitions.

“The other design challenge is to create a building that works for each of the four different academic disciplines to be housed there. Each department must have its own unique identity, but equally the brief was to create a ‘hub’ for these creative disciplines to come together, allowing students to get a cross-disciplinary experience.”

Construction will begin in January 2017, with completion scheduled for December 2018, subject to final confirmation from the University Council and planning permission from the relevant local authorities.
The University is welcoming the first cohort of architecture students in September 2016. They will initially be based at the historic London Road campus. Existing buildings will be converted into workshop and studio spaces later this year.

The University is offering a £3,000 a year scholarship to the first cohort of architecture students starting in September 2016.

New School of Architecture

New School of Architecture in Reading images / information received from Hawkins\Brown

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image : Foster + Partners
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photograph : James Brittain

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Comments / photos for the New School of Architecture in Reading page welcome

New School of Architecture in Reading

Website : Hawkins\Brown

Website : Reading, Berkshire