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Foster and Grimshaw shortlisted for £33m Warwick arts faculty

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Foster + Partners and Grimshaw are among five teams competing for an ‘architecturally outstanding’ £33 million faculty of arts at Warwick University in Coventry

WilkinsonEyre, FCBS and Swedish outfit White Arkitekter complete the shortlist of firms in the final round of the RIBA-organised contest.

The Faculty of Arts Development will bring together eight University of Warwick humanities departments currently spread across two separate buildings.

The two-stage competition invited ‘innovative and insightful teams with exceptional creative skills’ to draw up proposals for the new landmark building.

The university, founded in 1965, occupies a 290ha campus on the edge of Coventry, with smaller satellite outposts in London and nearby Wellesbourne. Its suburban campus is around 30 minutes by train from Birmingham and one hour from London, and hosts most of the university’s 24,000 students.

The new building will replace an existing car park on the campus near to the MJP Architects-designed main library and students union, and an additional students union building by Casson Conder Partnership. Other key nearby structures include the Warwick Arts Centre – completed by Renton, Howard, Wood Associates in 1974, and berman guedes stretton’s £10.4 million teaching and learning building.

BMJ Architects also completed a £4.2 million Centre for Mechanochemical Cell Biology (CMBC) at Warwick Medical School nearby four years ago.

The judging panel select the five shortlisted teams following an expressions of interest with pre-qualification questionnaire round. Each team will receive £7,500 to participate in the tender and design concept phase of the competition.

The panel included RIBA adviser Cindy Walters of Walters & Cohen alongside leading departmental academics and members of the university’s senior leadership team.

The winning architect-led multidisciplinary design team, set to be announced on 1 February, will develop the scheme up to RIBA Stage 3 before moving to a client advisory role during construction.

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