Client:  University of Essex / B&K Structures

Architect:  Building Design Partnership

Value: £15m

Status: Complete

Engineering Disciplines: Advanced Timber Engineering


The landmark new Business School designed by BDP reflects the university’s vision for growth, excellence and sustainability and is the first zero-carbon business school in the UK.

The design emphasis focuses on postgraduate learning and research, with flexible group learning and media facilities to promote extended community and international links. The building provides students, staff and business partners with innovative spaces and a collaborative environment, centred around a winter garden.

The winter garden acts as a buffer zone, supporting the passive ventilation and heating strategy of the teaching building, whilst also being the arrival and meeting space showcasing the green and social character of the new building. The Business School gables fold into the winter garden and at each end house social functions - there is a café at the east end, and staff and post-graduate social spaces at the west end.

The attractive curved timber-framed and timber-clad building is shaped so that it benefits from natural lighting and ventilation. The building will also feature an EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) biome panelled roof similar to that used in the Eden Project, which is made from a fluorine-based plastic, which is resilient, self-cleaning and recyclable.  The timber frame design and connection detailing was pushed to the limits of Eurocode design by Engenuiti to ensure concealed detailing.


Structural Timber Awards 2016 - Winner of Engineer of the Year and Best Solid Timber Project.  Highly commended for Best Education Project.

Offsite Awards 2016 - Winner of Best Hybrid Project and Winner of Winners Project.  Highly commended for Best Education Project.


28 Jul 2017