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Design Engine unveils 'Passivhaus' Student Centre in Bournemouth

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The Winchester-based Design Engine has completed the first stage of its transformation of Arts University Bournmouth’s Wallisdowne campus in Poole


The £2.3million two-storey building, together with re-clad and refurbished existing spaces, provides reception areas, new staff offices and meeting spaces.

The scheme also includes dedicated consultation and counselling rooms and a GP surgery space, connected by a new foyer, stair and lift.

To identify the entrance, and visually link the new spaces, the architect designed a sculptural steel canopy that extends over the road, giving the campus an enhanced presence on the street. The brickwork cladding and aluminium facades are designed to integrate with the existing buildings on the Wallisdowne site, but the architect focused on the detailing to ensure that the new buildings appeared contemporary.

The building is part of Design Engine’s wider plans for campus for the institution in Wallisdowne, Poole which it won in August 2012. More than 3,000 students attend the university dedicated to art, design and the media.

Alongside the masterplan and the new student services centre, the practice has also delivered a new building for the photography faculty.

Bournemouth Student Centre by Design Engine

Bournemouth Student Centre by Design Engine

Architect’s view

The recently completed Student Centre Building for Arts University Bournemouth provides a new destination on the Wallisdown campus for Student support services, the Students Union, and Campus facilities management. The detailed integration of pre-cast elements allowed generous full-height and corner windows, with inset aluminium clad facades and louvres for natural ventilation. Innovative insulated concrete formwork construction, triple-glazing, and bespoke M&E systems target Passivhaus levels of environmental performance, and should deliver long-term benefits to the university. Internally the furniture selection and specification by Design Engine has been considered to create a calm and cosy atmosphere appropriate to the building’s use.

Oliver Moore, Senior Associate

Design Engine Student Centre Bournemouth

Design Engine Student Centre Bournemouth

Design Engine Student Centre Bournemouth

Project data

Architect Design Engine
Location Wallisdown, Poole, BH12 5HH
Type of project Higher Education
Structural engineer AKS Ward
Client Stuart Bartholomew, Vice-Chancellor, Arts University Bournemouth
Funding Private
Tender date March 2014
Start on site date July 2014
Contract duration completed September 2015
Gross internal floor area 736m²
Form of contract and/or procurement Design & Build
Total cost £2.3 million
M&e consultant AVUS Consulting
Quantity surveyor Capita
Planning supervisor Turley
Passivhaus advisor Warm
Landscape architect Hyland Edgar Driver (HED)
Main contractor Morgan Sindall
Annual CO2 emissions 1,320kg/year

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