Hawkins\Brown wins planning for Research Building at the University of Warwick\

Coventry City Council has awarded planning permission for the Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building (IBRB) at the University of Warwick. The new building will bring together up to 300 biomedical researchers from the university’s School of Life Sciences and Warwick Medical School.

Hawkins\Brown has designed the flagship building at the heart of the Gibbet Hill Campus which is anticipated to become a benchmark for quality campus-wide, with its location maintaining strong visual links to the main University of Warwick campus to the north. The building’s entrance is located on the south elevation facing the campus centre. The surrounding landscape has been designed to work with the steep gradient of the site, integrating an existing cycle and pedestrian pathway linking the two University campuses.

Plans for the five-storey building include a central ‘lab village’ core, with Hawkins\Brown crafting an open layout to facilitate visual connections between internal spaces, initiating interaction and communication through chance encounters. Open-plan ‘write-up’ areas, office space and collaboration zones are located at the building’s perimeter, benefiting from natural light and activating the façade.

A 400-seat lecture theatre, with a large public entrance, café and exhibition space, promotes inclusivity through transparency and openness of space for all building users, visitors and the wider community.

The building has been designed to work with the existing site context, utilizing the topography, views and links to woodland beyond. IBRB also aims to achieve BREEAM Excellent. Through working closely with University scientists and researchers, the building has been designed to allow for flexibility as science progresses, and ‘future proofing’ the building to achieve ongoing sustainability.

The £54.3m research building is expected to open in 2020.

“The IBRB will provide a world class facility for the world class researchers at the University of Warwick. The building benefits from an exposed part concrete, part Glulam and CLT frame providing visual contrast internally; this manifest externally through the use of precast concrete cladding and anodized aluminium ‘fins’. This mature and robust palette demonstrates the University’s commitment to achieving high quality design and maximizing the use of Offsite Manufacturing methods. We are proud to have led the design of the IBRB, which sets a benchmark for future buildings on the Gibbet Hill Campus.”

Jade Pleass, project architect

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