team of education specialists created a pioneering teaching and
learning building in the centre of campus at the University of Warwick.
Oculus is the University of Warwick's first dedicated teaching space with bookable facilities available to all
faculties. The development was borne out of research by the University’s
Institution of Advanced Learning, which found the teaching and learning
experience could be enhanced by having multi-faculty buildings to share knowledge and encourage socialising between students from a range of
Designed for student cohesion and know knowledge sharing
two storey building provides new facilities for over 1,000
a field into a state of the art building that achieves the university's vision for multi-faculty
space that enhances the student experience, both academically and socially.
Students now benefit from a 500 seat lecture theatre, largest at the university, along with another 250 seat theatre. Oculus also provide 12 teaching spaces, social learning
and networking areas, a café and outdoor terraces.
Oculus Building ‘living building’
reflects the green surroundings. It achieves its natural feel through
the use of materials such as terracotta and sandstone cladding and terrazzo
tiles. Its also has abundant use of glulam timber to the roof
– making it instantly recognisable and
improving sustainability by reducing embodied carbon.
to the teams unique approach the building achieved BREEAM Excellent and EPC A
Procured via Scape Group's National Major Works framework, we made sure technology has
been harnessed to the full. Each lecture theatre
is equipped with projector rooms, sound booths and high definition screens,
along with portable lecterns, cameras, speakers and even screens available for
use by lecturers as a teleprompter or a live feed.
all furniture, even sofas, are equipped with three-pin plugs and USB ports with
Wi-Fi available throughout!
Owen, managing director of Willmott Dixon in the midlands:
"Oculus Building is pioneering in its sustainability and
technological credentials – we hope it sets a benchmark for educational facilities
in the future!”
On the use of technology, Johnathan Owen, from the
University’s IT department:
“I really like the glulam ceiling and the use
of glass throughout the building, which helps highlight the green space we have
on campus. From a technical point of view, I’m really excited about the use of
edge blended projection in the large lecture theatres, which allows lecturers
to easily configure a huge digital canvas, to display a multitude of content.”
opening, the Oculus has been popular. Students
use the facilities for study or breakout and visit the café both before and
after lectures, ensuring a steady flow of people until 10pm when the building
building itself was designed to have a minimum 30-year lifespan and to be as
low maintenance as possible, through the use of durable components and
materials, and a need for limited servicing requirements through the use of
natural ventilation. A separate basement plant room provides easy access for
servicing to avoid any disruption over the lifetime of the building.