Higher education design trends: University of Winchester West Downs Building

‘Healthier people through better buildings’ lies at the heart of Design Engine’s University of Winchester West Downs Building

Multi-awarding-winning company Design Engine Architects were commissioned in 2015 to design a new landmark building for the University of Winchester.

The West Downs Building is a new £50m 7,500m2 project, which will provide the university with an impressive new gateway building to the city while delivering flexible academic accommodation, public-facing lecture and exhibition facilities and social learning spaces.

The West Downs Building is one of the first university projects in the UK to be registered to pursue WELL Certification

Funded in part by a £30m loan from Triodos Bank, Europe’s leading sustainable bank, the West Downs Building is one of the first university projects in the UK to be registered to pursue WELL Certification, an accreditation scheme which recognises buildings that support and advance human health and wellbeing.

The WELL Building Standard (WELL) is a performance-based rating system for measuring, certifying and monitoring features that impact human health and wellness in the built environment.

Features of the West Downs development that boost wellbeing include a contemplation space for practising mindfulness; healthy food options; access to nature through the courtyard garden; landscaped areas for encouraging outdoor use; and reduced harmful buildings emissions, including air and water testing.

Construction started in January 2018 and the building will open in early 2020.


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