Swanke Hayden Connell Architects' completes new centre at Loughborough University
Higher education institutions are constantly faced with the challenge to create higher quality teaching and research accommodation within their estates. New buildings provide the opportunity for a step change in research and learning environments. Perhaps the greater challenge is how existing building stock can be adapted and improved to generate similar benefits.
The Department of Civil Engineering at Loughborough University faced this challenge for its new Centre for Collaborative Construction Research (CCCR). Academics and researchers were dispersed across four buildings in poor quality environments which had evolved through existing constraints rather than by design. This situation was perceived to impact on the department’s identity as a leading research centre.
Swanke Hayden Connell Architects took a business case and feasibility study commissioned by the department and reappraised it from first principles. The users’ aspiration was for a collaborative workplace that would inspire academics and researchers and the estates requirement was to minimise risk and deliver cost and programme certainty.