Prof Lord Bhattacharyya Building Coventry, Cullinan Studio West Midlands, Jaguar Land Rover Tata Motors Group

Prof Lord Bhattacharyya Building Coventry Award

23 September 2021

Design: Cullinan Studio Architects

Location: Coventry, West Midlands, Central England, UK

Prof Lord Bhattacharyya Building Coventry

Photos © Nick Hufton

Prof Lord Bhattacharyya Building Coventry, England

Prof Lord Bhattacharyya Building Coventry Jury Report

This project is of a consistently high standard throughout. The brief for the project was complex in bringing together academic and industry research in the same building together to foster innovation and collaboration.

Prof Lord Bhattacharyya Building Coventry

A showcase for pioneering technology and learning, this building is a fantastic example of highly engineered architecture with sustainability credentials that could have achieved BREEAM Outstanding had there not been a conscious and informed decision not to. Despite its large scale this building displays an elegance and lightness of touch, with rigorous detailing at both a micro and macro scale. This building, and its surrounding landscape is the product of a successful relationship between the Client, architect, and the wider design team.

The arrival to the building is marked by the timber latticed roof structure oversailing the entrance doors. Soft green landscape and seating guide visitors to the entrance, with a large café to one side. This is open to anyone and also opens into the reception foyer. Emphasis is placed on the building entrance being welcoming, in contrast to the traditional science building which would usually be hidden away on the campus.

Prof Lord Bhattacharyya Building Coventry

One of the challenges for this project was to bring together multiple facilities that were used to working independently. As many of these facilities carry out highly confidential work, the architect’s challenge was to provide lines of security whilst also creating shared space for collaboration and a building that felt connected. This has been achieved by moving security to different levels and maintaining large open spaces for communal activity.

The building plan is a simple L shape with stacked volumes around a stepped atrium. There is a Hollywood glamour to this space with long, white sweeping curves, generous stairs, and the play of light into the volume through the latticed roof structure. The material palette is pared down and neutral, the focus being on the timber roof, the beautifully engineered details and the cars and models on display.

Prof Lord Bhattacharyya Building Coventry

Behind the scenes is the latest in automotive engineering, design labs with robots creating clay models at 1 to 1 scale, VR rooms where cars are tested and adjusted and a studio with turntables for cars that are driven across bridges, crossing the atrium into the external display garden- surely a moment of theatre when put in motion.

This is where our transport for the future is being invented and the building facilitates this whilst also reflecting the values and aspirations of its custodians. It is a pioneering and innovative building, but above all, it is beautifully crafted and for that reason we believe it should be put forward for RIBA West Midlands Building of the Year.

Prof Lord Bhattacharyya Building Coventry

Prof Lord Bhattacharyya Building in Coventry – Property Information

Title: Prof Lord Bhattacharyya Building
RIBA region: West Midlands
Architect practice: Cullinan Studio
Date of completion: July 2018
Client company name: Jaguar Land Rover / Tata Motors Group / WMG, University of Warwick
Project city/town: Coventry
Contract value: £85,000,000.00
Internal area: 33,330.00 m²
Cost per m²: £2,550.00 / m²
Contractor company name: Balfour Beatty


Structural Engineer: Arup
Environmental / M&E Engineer: Arup
Quantity Surveyor / Cost Consultant: Rider Levitt Bucknall
Project Management: Rider Levitt Bucknall

Acoustic Engineer: BuroHappold Engineering
Landscape Architect: Grant Associates
Interior Design: Cullinan Studio
Lighting Design: Arup
Fire Engineers: Buro Happold Engineering
Planning Consultant: Turley Associates
BREEAM Consultant: GWP

• Regional Award
• Client of the Year
• Building of the Year

Photographs © Nick Hufton

Edward Cullinan Architects

2021 RIBA Client of the Year Shortlist

Prof Lord Bhattacharyya Building Coventry – 2021 RIBA Client of the Year Shortlist images / information received 230921

Location: Coventry, West Midlands, central England, UK

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