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First look: Arup goes for six in Coventry

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Arup Associates has won planning permission for its hexagon-inspired Engineering and Computing Building for Coventry University

The practice landed the £30 million project, which features six-sided desks and a hexagonal patterned facade, following a competition last year in which it beat the likes of Foster + Partners, Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios and Wilkinson Eyre.

The development boasts two separate ‘elements’ – a seven-storey block clad in a lightweight timber-framed anodised aluminium facade to the north, and a lower L-shaped building to the south which features a level below ground and a planted roof including ‘a variety of vegetation known to attract the insect life preferred by Pipistrelle bats’.

‘We have created spaces to facilitate new ways of teaching engineering,’ said Dipesh Patel, director of Arup Associates. ‘Our work supports the faculty’s objective of creating a new pedagogy based upon collaborative learning.

‘Gone are the days of lines of desks, with a lecturer at the front of the class room. Now, students will work around bespoke desks in groups of six, to study and solve problems together.’

Work was originally scheduled to complete in 2011.


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