Learning facilities with a strong professional edge
Berman Guedes Stretton for the University of Birmingham
Contract value: £6.9m
The Alan Walters Building, a new postgraduate teaching centre, is a fitting addition to Birmingham Business School. The unassuming external faces boast some excellent masonry details worthy of top industry awards in their own right. But it is the internal spaces that make this project a winner.
The repetitive structural rhythm of the exterior sets a calm and elegant tone to the main atrium, emphasised by well-considered details and high quality finishes. Uncommon use of concrete soffit panels to the rooflights creates a beguiling contrast between the heaviness of the material and the diffusion of light. Acoustic timber panels and cladding lining the recessed bays bring colour and warmth, while creating a unifying element between floors. Overall, the proposal provides learning facilities with a strong professional edge. The building has an appropriate ambience for post-graduate teaching, making it an exemplary project.