Project Description :
Rio was commissioned to create a new dynamic social hub for the University which provided a distinct break from academia and reflected the expectations of the C21 student. The previous Union had ‘run its course’ and no longer satisfied the requirements of a contemporary University.
The project involved the demolition and replacement of the existing Union with a contemporary 20,000 sqft facility. The Concept involved the integration of social, administrative and learning accommodation in a building that raised the profile of the building within the Campus and harnessed the panoramic views across the valley.
It was important that the building was inclusive to all and gave the students a sense of ownership; hence its external appearance expresses its function, offering transparency and engagement with its environment. Internally, the communal functions such as social learning, cafes and bars form the ‘heart’ of the building reinforcing this ethos.
This building won a 2011 RIBA Award.