Students Union, University of Warwick

MJP Architects, Coventry, 2009


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Peter Durant (website)     Download Original

  • Site plan    
  • Ground floor plan; back    
  • First floor plan; back    
  • Second floor plan; back    
  • Second floor plan; plant room    
  • Phase 2a/b ground floor plan    
  • Phase 2a/b first floor plan    
  • Ground floor plan, RCP; front    
  • Ground floor plan, RCP; back    
  • First floor plan, RCP; front    
  • First floor plan, RCP; back    
  • Second floor plan, RCP; back    
  • General arrangement sections    
  • General arrangement section    
  • Elevations    
  • Elevations    
  • Elevations plaza front    
  • Ground floor demolitions    
  • First floor demolitions    
  • Second and third floor demolitions    
  • Glazing detail    

Remodelling of Students Union building, a concrete structure built in the late 1960s

The redevelopment has provided an orienting element separating the large open area into distinct zones. The building has a strong structural language, generated by the coffered slab and chamfered walls.

The current campus masterplan identifies the opportunity to form a plaza marking the entrance to the campus, through a continuous surface and revitalised building frontages. The plaza cafe and terrace bar provide that active frontage along the front elevation.

The key to the flexibility of the redeveloped building is the central atrium, formed by the internalisation, extension and refit of the existing external courtyard space.

The atrium provides an acoustic buffer and clear circulation route between surrounding bar areas; during the day the rooflit space provides seating for students and staff served by a cafe and juice bar. At night, bars spill out into the seating zones around the space, and form a large foyer to the nightclub at the back of the building.

The nightclub extension to the rear of the building is formed of simple volumes; an additional double-height stage is contained within a chamfered horse-shoe wall which also provides an external terrace to the expanded ‘Graduate’ pub above.


  • Begun: Jul 2008
  • Completed: Aug 2009
  • Floor area: 5,500m2
  • Sector: Education
  • Total cost: £11.5M
  • Procurement: JCT 2005
  • Address: Warwick Students Union, Gibbett Hill Road, Coventry, CV4 7AL, United Kingdom

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