High Education projects - our approach...

The higher education sector is experiencing exciting but challenging times. With students facing rising costs and a broader range of available options, their expectations and selectivity is increasing. In response, higher education providers are having to position themselves within a highly competitive national and international market and are increasingly required to demonstrate the value for money students receive for their investment.

 This context puts pressure on university estates to provide the type and quality of facilities that will attract the best students and the best academics. As designers, we have assisted a number of leading universities to maximise the effectiveness of their estate investment in responding to this challenge as well as to future challenges that will see an increased focus on teaching excellence, integration of new technologies and widening participation.

 Our approach combines practicality and vision. We think holistically about how to rationalise university estates and to make every space work hard in order to increase the gap between operating cost and revenue, as well as enable long-term sustainability. We also take the opportunity on each project to embody the unique brand of the university into the DNA of how the place works and feels, making adaptable learning environments that reinforce the ethos and make the university’s brand a differentiator; a brand with which people are proud to be associated.

Just walking into the light filled space puts one in the right frame of mind to be creative and productive. The new layout has increased social interaction between staff and facilitated interaction with students.
— Department Staff Member, University of Westminster Psychology Department. New Cavendish Campus