The Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Warwick University is internationally renowned for the high quality of its research, academic courses and students. By the end of the 1990s the Department had outgrown its original accommodation and the University approached rhp to develop a new facility to be located on the recently created academic square in the heart of the campus.
Early brainstorming meetings with the users highlighted that connectivity and potential chance encounter were key to their aspirations for the scheme. This reflected a desire for a creative and productive environment that enabled the cross-fertilisation of ideas and approaches between different disciplines in the Department.
In response, our design approach sets a series of interconnected academic offices around two principal courtyards. Generous circulation routes and a high proportion of stairways are animated with informal discussion areas in key locations. The main common room and library are central to the layout, expressed as the core of the scheme, adjoining both the department areas and the more public ‘student street’ atrium space. This in turn gives access to the two main lecture theatres, seminar rooms, undergraduate common rooms and Department reception areas.
The new facility was designed to enable potential expansion. This was realised in 2006 when we were appointed to extend the accommodation, creating a third courtyard together with a glass bridge linking the building to the adjacent Department of Computer Sciences, also designed by rhp and completed in 2000.