Defining a campus identity in the heart of the Warwickshire landscape
Churchman Thornhill Finch have been retained consultants for the University of Warwick since 2003 delivering capital projects to a 15-year development plan.
Spanning a decade and a half, our involvement at the Warwick University campus has ranged from individual academic facilities through to the strategic planning for expansion of both built accommodation and student numbers.
Over time we have sought to establish a new campus aesthetic founded on the academic and research activities of the university while reflecting the characteristics and sensitivities of the campus location.
The Development Plan sought to reinforce some of the strength of the original 1960’s campus plan while establishing a stronger relationship between buildings and their landscape settings.
We have developed a new network of spaces around the campus buildings helping to create a strong sense of connection between the main body of the University and its satellite sites, and gateway installations marking the threshold of the campus.
Our most significant contribution has been to facilitate the unification of the original campus heart with the expansion campus by re-envisioning a previously divisive road corridor as a shared surface. We also re-imagined the previously crowded and undersized transport hub, creating a more spacious more appropriate and welcoming piece of public realm. Through these projects we have managed to embed the campus within the wider city of Coventry such that the University now enjoys a more open and more welcoming public face.
The 700 acre university campus straddles the administrative boundary between Coventry and Warwickshire, marking the transition between the City suburbs and the Green Belt.
Our designs have sought to reflect the rural setting of the campus with biodiversity underpinning each of our projects with wild flower fields and native stands of trees and hedgerows being key components of our designs. Bat corridors, newt reserves and retention of existing oak trees have been recurring themes in our work. From the outset we have sought to encourage the University to embrace new strategies and new landscape typologies, including the use of energy generating crops to use as biofuels.
The University’s commitment to the achievement of BREEAM excellence means that landscape issues are fundamental within the design development process. All planting schemes must deliver diversity of habitat potential which means that green roofs and sustainable urban drainage features are standard to all new projects.