Arup Associates' Campus

Arup Associates, Solihull, 2001


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Arup Associates’ Campus at Solihull, near Birmingham 

Peter Cook/VIEW (website)     Download Original

  • Arup Associates’ Campus at Solihull, near Birmingham    
  • Front elevation of the Arup Campus building    
  • The main entrance. The campus is in keeping with Arup’s history of  ‘radical traditionalism’, characterised by a feeling for the vernacular    
  • The external timber cladding is untreated and intended to weather    
  • The light scoops and chimneys and the louvered timber shutters are the defining features of the aesthetic of the scheme    
  • Light scoops and chimneys extract stale air    
  • Louvered shutters control solar gain    
  • The reception area links the two pavilions    
  • The space above the reception area serves as an extension of the cafe at lunchtime    
  • The pavilions are straightforward sheds with pitched roofs.  Internally, the structure is supported on Y-columns    
  • Although some enclosed meeting rooms were essential, most meetings take place in open-plan areas    
  •  ‘Winged’ light fittings act as sound dampers    
  • The building has manually controlled windows and shutters    
  • Site plan    
  • Level two and three plans    
  • Level four and five plan    
  • Section    
  • Roof detail    
  • Detail of eaves    

Campus for Arup Associates designed to house 350 staff working in a variety of disciplines from structural engineering to car design

The two-storey building is laid out as two long pavilions, sited to relate to the contours of the land. The buidling contains open plan and enclosed offices, a reception area, a cafe and service areas.

The slope, used to reduce on-site cut and fill, allows the creation of internal half levels and atria that ensure connections between the work spaces.

The weathering of the timber cladding melds the building into its landscape. Above the eaves, roof pods are prominently expressed. These distinctive elements define the environmentally responsible and responsive space as a sustainable office building.

The building is designed to be naturally ventilated and to maximise daylight penetration via the roof pods. Through a chimney-like stack effect they drive the ventilation naturally and bring controlled daylight deep into the heart of the building.

Exposed concrete floor and roof soffits provide thermal mass. Externally, the contextual timber louvres control solar gain and glare, and the louvres and opening windows can be manually operated.


  • Begun: Dec 1999
  • Completed: 2001
  • Floor area: 6,056m2
  • Sector: Office
  • Total cost: £72M
  • Tender date: Jul 1999
  • Procurement: JCT 98 without quantities
  • Address: Blythe Gate, Blythe Valley Park, Shirley, Solihull, B90 8AE, United Kingdom

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