Berrill Building, Open University

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Milton Keynes, 1997


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The building at night 

Dennis Gilbert/View (website)     Download Original

  • The building at night    
  • The cafe visible on the ground floor    
  • Subtly differentiated shading systems    
  • The Berrill Building- a new type of building for the Open University    
  • Solar shading mesh    
  •  A ramped bridge leads from the car park to the main entrance    
  • The main staircase linking all five floors of the building    
  • The entrance level connects to the lecture theatre whilst a cafe occupies the floor below    
  • The Knowledge Media Institute on the top floor     
  • 14 metre deep naturally ventilated offices    
  • Site plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Second and third floor plan    
  • Heating and ventilation diagram    
  • Detail section through east elevation at office floor    
  • Detail section through south concourse    

New entrance building for the Open University campus providing reception facilities and office space for 450 people

The main office lies on a north/south axis along the eastern boundary of the Campus. This building is connected to an existing BBC Studio, which incorporates a 250-seat lecture theatre, by a glazed concourse.

The link accommodates a ground-floor café with a mezzanine above, which connects the main entrance and reception area with the lecture theatre.

The entrance is accessed by a ramped bridge from the car park into a five-storey entrance hall from which the main vertical circulation and principal office meeting rooms are organised.

The building provides low energy accommodation by incorporating simple passive systems including optimising natural daylight, ventilation and shading systems which can be operated by individual users.

Each elevation has a different strategy to reduce solar gain, the western elevation uses photo-cell-controlled external roller blinds, while the east is shaded by perpendicular perforated aluminium panels. The building has a high degree of thermal mass, no suspended ceilings, large floor to ceiling heights of 3.3m and ensured cross ventilation paths.


  • Begun: Feb 1996
  • Completed: Jun 1997
  • Floor area: 6,900m2
  • Sector: Education
  • Total cost: £5.6M
  • Procurement: Construction Management
  • Address: Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, United Kingdom

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