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Dipesh Patel was Project Director for this Higher Education Project while employed by Arup Associates.
Beginning with a research visit by Dipesh and the heads of the faculty to leading engineering buildings in Australia and Denmark, the Engineering and Computing building is the first of its kind in the UK. Designed around a project-based, team approach to teaching engineering, the facility has been a huge success and very popular with the users.
The BREEAM ‘Excellent’ building celebrates a community of learners, encouraging exploration and teamwork. Supporting the variety of labs, lecture theatres and teaching spaces is the ‘Collaborative Zone’. This space rises through the entire building and provides social space for private work, teamwork and recreation. By encouraging students to stay in the building between timetabled learning, both their education and pastoral support is increased.
Every detail was considered to encourage teamwork. A bespoke desk of six (the ideal team size) was designed to support the pedagogy and a collaborative lecture theatre creates carrels of six seats for teamwork in lectures.