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Architecture award for Senate House student hub development

Students in the Global Lounge at Senate House Photo by Dan Rowley/ University of Bristol

The new atrium at Senate HousePhoto by FCB Studios/ Rebecca Noakes

Press release issued: 30 May 2023

The University of Bristol’s Senate House student hub has won an architecture award following a major refurbishment project.

The student hub was named as a RIBA South West Regional Award winner at a special ceremony held at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery on Wednesday, May 24.

Originally constructed in 1961 as an administration building, Senate House recently underwent significant transformation to become the student-centred ‘heart’ of the university that delivers high-quality flexible student commons.

The recently-completed second phase of the project has delivered the Global Lounge, a cultural hub where the 150-plus nationalities that study at the University can connect.

Above this are study areas, a multi-faith prayer room, a collaborative space for postgraduate research students and an extended SU Living Room, which now spans the entire fourth floor and includes a the University’s first sensory room.

At the top of the building on the fifth floor are student meeting and activity rooms, offering far reaching views across the city.

The first phase of Senate House’s refurbishment saw the creation of an impressive new atrium, as well as a food court and the Student Union-run Beckford Bar, which together can accommodate 500 people.

On the ground floor it houses the SU Loft, where students can work and relax, and the new Student Information service.

Professor Judith Squires, Provost and Deputy Vice Chancellor, said: “It is fantastic the new Senate House student hub has won this award.

“The work on Senate House was a major project for the University. We wanted to create a space suitable for modern student learning and support services, one that offered opportunities for study, socialising and collaboration, and we are delighted to see this ambition has become a reality.”

The project team was led by the University’s Campus Division and designed by architects, Feilden Clegg Bradley (FCB) Studios.

The Senate House student hub was one of 23 projects shortlisted for the RIBA South West Awards. The projects selected demonstrated a high standard of architectural skill and ingenuity, as well as sustainability.

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