It’s getting ever more competitive. Colleges and universities want to create innovative and exciting buildings that can uplift and inspire, but still meet the functional needs of both students and staff. There’s no doubt that engaging architecture effects core student application levels: buildings that look good, work, and are environmentally sound attract teachers and students alike. In fact the benefits of good design often extend to the wider community. Great buildings? Everyone wants one.
But here is the problem. Education is the intentional transmission of what is worthwhile. It is the foundation for our culture and many social functions are performed by its delivery. But it is also a business.
Academic institutions, however, face challenges unlike those faced by corporate decision makers. A host of conflicting pressures and requirements, some arising from the academic decision-making process itself, may beset projects, be they strategic planning and infrastructure, new buildings, or the refurbishment and fit out of existing listed buildings.
The ability to respond to the challenge, to bring a project to a successful, swift and cost-effective completion, requires a project team who are experienced and aware of the special requirements and challenges faced by institutions of learning. Our experience in the field is extensive, having been party to change and development in the sector since we were founded in 1949: indeed some of our very first projects some six decades ago were for schools.