Outdoor classrooms to feature in Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios-designed University of Warwick faculty

Outdoor classrooms and "a clear dialogue between the internal and external landscape" are features of a new Faculty of Arts building at The University of Warwick.

Connection to nature - part of the winning design. Image: FCB Studios/University of Warwick
Connection to nature - part of the winning design. Image: FCB Studios/University of Warwick

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCB) won a design competition run by the Royal Institute of British Architects to design both the building and external landscape, which the university sees as crucial to the success of the overall project.

University of Warwick senior project manager Alastair Dixon said: "Our team believes humans are disposed to be calmed and restored by a strong connection to nature, with greater biodiversity helping this relationship to become deeper still, encouraging more use of outside spaces and hence greater well-being.

"We will work closely with FCB Studios to ensure the Faculty of Arts will be open and visible with a clear dialogue between the internal and external landscape.

"For example the new Faculty of Arts Building project plans include outdoor classroom spaces, pure in form, with walls and ground planes in matching brick as if the spaces have grown from the ground. Openings align with windows in the building, paths and other landscape features, these will be incorporated into the overall design."

The Faculty of Arts at Warwick is one of the World's top 50 arts and humanities faculties and is located south west of Coventry on the border with Warwickshire. Its departments, currently housed in two separate buildings, will be united in a central campus location close to another new building, the Oculus and the Arts Centre, with the aim of fostering closer collaboration between departments.

Chair of the Arts Faculty Professor Simon Gilson said: "The competition has been immensely valuable in generating a wealth of ideas for a building that will serve students, staff and the public over the coming decades. The successful architects, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCB) will be helping us move into the exciting next phase of the development as we look to create a building that is open, inviting and flexible, allows collaboration, creativity and innovation to flourish, and acts as a hub both for public engagement in the humanities and for nurturing cultural value."

Andy Theobald, Partner at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCB), said the building will be a significant addition to the campus and embody its cultural values. "We are very much looking forward to an exciting collaboration with the Faculty to develop our competition-winning proposals and together create a building for interaction, learning and research right across the humanities."

The other shortlisted teams (listed in alphabetical order) were:

Foster + Partners


White Arkitekter

Wilkinson Eyre


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