Essex Business School – Colchester Campus

Essex Business School Colchester, English Education Building, University Design

Essex Business School, England : Colchester Campus Building

Wivenhoe Park – design by BDP, architects

23 Nov 2011

Essex Business School

Colchester Campus, University of Essex, southeast England

Design: BDP, Architects

Essex Business School Building


BDP’s interdisciplinary team has been selected to design the £14m Essex Business School at the University of Essex’s Colchester Campus.

The new building will be zero-carbon as part of the school’s ethos to lead the development of sustainable business strategies. Therefore, as a simple response to the sloping site, the school has been designed to be visibly sustainable at every level, from its orientation on site, choice of structure and materials, landscaping and passive engineering strategies.

Essex Business School Essex Business School Colchester
images from architects

The site is located in the Wivenhoe Park on a hillside overlooking the River Colne estuary, forming an important link between the existing 60s campus and the university’s new Knowledge Gateway research park.

BDP’s three storey timber frame building is conceived as a south facing crescent, shaped around a mature oak tree on the sloping site. Offices and teaching spaces in the building wrap around a winter garden which has an ETFE and timber roof. The roof is covered in photo voltaics that take full advantage of the south orientation to provide renewable energy for a combined heat and power installation, enabling the net export of energy to offset carbon emissions from the building.

The winter garden acts as a buffer zone supporting the passive ventilation and heating strategy of the building whilst also being the arrival and meeting space showcasing the green and social character of the new Business School.

The school will have an emphasis on postgraduate learning and research, with flexible group learning and media facilities to promote extended community and international links.

Andrew Nightingale, Director of Estate Management at the university, said that BDP was selected – from of a strong shortlist of six design team consortia – on account of its extensive experience in the higher education sector and the creation of inspirational learning environments.

Essex Business School Colchester images / information from BDP, Architects

BDP Architects

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Essex Buildings

Another University of Essex building at the Colchester Campus on e-architect, infamously described in 2008 by Prince Charles as looking like a dustbin from the outside:

Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall, University of Essex, Colchester
Design: Patel Taylor, Architects
Ivor Crewe Lecture Theatre
image from ArcelorMittal

Ivor Crewe Lecture Theatre

Recent Essex Building Designs

firstsite, Colchester
Design: Rafael Viñoly Architects
firstsite Colchester
image from architects


Wildspace Rainham Warehouse
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Wildspace Rainham Warehouse
photo © Tim Crocker

Wildspace Rainham Warehouse

Salvation Army Citadel Corps building, Chelmsford
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Salvation Army Essex
photo : Keith Collie

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English Houses

English Architect

Stansted Airport
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photograph : Adrian Welch

Building Design Partnership

Comments / photos for the Essex Business School page welcome

Essex Business School Colchester Building : page