Coventry University employed HawkinsBrown in 2008 to design and deliver a student enterprise centre that would provide an holistic approach to the learning, social and welfare needs of their students. The brief was to provide an innovative social and learning environment - a 'home from home' that up to 1000 students could access 24/7 for individual research, group learning, informal tutorials, counselling, support and social activities. A high proportion of the 12,000 Coventry undergraduates are from ethnic minorities and live at home, the interior design of the Hub plays reference to this by introducing modern over-scaled floral carpets, bespoke decorative wallpapers, sofas and bean bags.
The new 8950m2 building also houses a multi-purpose venue, a 500 seat canteen, a medical centre, a multi-faith centre, retail outlets and student union facilities. The building provided excellent value for money at just over £2,200 per sq m including all the furniture and fittings and gained a BREEAM excellent rating.
The Hub has been extremely well received. "Staff and students love the cleanliness of the external facades, the playful colours internally and the pods and nests, which are very popular with students for social or study groups. We are delighted with how well the building meets our brief - it has almost become a victim of its own success" says Prof. Gerry Ackerman, Deputy Director of Estates and Property at Coventry University.
"The university developed a genuine sense of trust and understanding with HawkinsBrown during the design process. They were extremely professional and diligent, taking care of the small details that so often get forgotten, whilst ensuring that the university was always kept in the loop. They understood our concerns and found design solutions to solve them, working together has proven a great success."