One of the largest timber roofs in the world unifies many activities beneath a single umbrella
Cullinan Studio for University of Warwick
Contract value: £80m
Cost per m2: £2,400
This building houses the National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC) at the University of Warwick. The largest research and development centre of its kind in Europe, it is home to 1,000 staff working across design, engineering and research, as well as future engineers on degree programmes. The centre is a partnership between WMG at the University of Warwick, Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Motors European Technical Centre. Cullinan Studio’s vision was to create a collaborative, crossdisciplinary environment for research and work, fostered through chance encounters. One of the largest timber roofs in the world, the glulam CLT lattice structure unifies the many activities beneath a single umbrella. The collaborative hub at the heart of the building is designed as a terraced hillside of ledges and balconies hosting shared meeting, movement and workplaces at all scales. Office areas are a mix of desk and innovative spaces for creative thinking. Flexible walls help to corral research teams and their portfolios of projects together; surfaces are reconfigurable, writable and projection friendly. The building’s walls were assembled using a pioneering system of prefabricated, self-spanning timber and CLT ‘megapanels’ that could be quickly erected. Externally, a lightweight undulating mesh veil modulates daylight and solar gain, expressing movement and shifting the perception of transparency, light and shade as you walk by, even on an overcast day.