This design concept respects the immediate context of the surrounding buildings and Conservation Area through its carefully considered mass and scale. Whilst aiming to provide a design that promotes a worldwide leading position, the design approach preserves the integrity of the historical context by setting the new Business School back from the street scene, river frontage and rear elevations of the Georgian terrace. This allows the existing buildings and landscape to maintain their own presence and stature whilst providing valuable public realm and space to ‘breathe’ in and around the development. The relationship between the existing and new is addressed through the careful introduction of these new public spaces, presenting an architectural backdrop for the people who walk through or stop and take in the contrasting and evolving historic environment that surrounds them.
The main central plaza protects and retains a listed building cottage and has been designed to work with the existing scale of the surrounding context. The form and footprint of the Business School are used to lead people to the entrance, via the central plaza, through a series of controlled and carefully designed stages, so that the Business School reveals itself without creating an overbearing presence, in stark contrast to the surrounding historic fabric.
To the North, the larger plaza presents the opportunity to embrace the scale and modern design of the new Business School, with a strong fluid connection between the inside and outside, whilst creating space for people to break out and relax in an unrivalled riverside location with stunning views of the river.