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West Downs Centre, Winchester

Design Engine Architects has created a gateway to the Winchester University campus, boldly composed of three distinct geometric forms

University of Winchester, West Downs Centre
University of Winchester, West Downs Centre Credit: Jim Stephenson

Design Engine Architects for University of Winchester
Contract value: £35m
GIA: 7,500m²
Cost per m²: £4,667

Situated on an arterial route through Winchester, the West Downs Centre is a gateway to the university campus on both sides of the road. Designed to make a statement, its bold composition of three distinct geometric forms around a calm courtyard garden is enlivened by a strong material palette incorporating knapped flint, Corten steel and zinc.

A five-storey rectangular teaching block provides a backdrop to a circular auditorium and triangular library which frame the entrance from the street. Circulation spaces and large open-plan areas are robust and flexible, with exposed concrete structure and services. A more tailored approach distinguishes facilities such as an intimate contemplation space and the intense, steeply-raked auditorium, creating an enjoyable range of spatial experiences that are revealed over time.

  • University of Winchester, West Downs Centre
    University of Winchester, West Downs Centre Credit: Jim Stephenson
  • University of Winchester, West Downs Centre
    University of Winchester, West Downs Centre Credit: Jim Stephenson
  • University of Winchester, West Downs Centre
    University of Winchester, West Downs Centre Credit: Jim Stephenson
  • University of Winchester, West Downs Centre
    University of Winchester, West Downs Centre Credit: Jim Stephenson
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