CSE Innovation Space, University of Westminster

  • Location

    London

  • Client

    University of Westminster

  • Value

    £1.6m

  • Completion

    2021

Creation of a new, flexible innovation and showcase space for the School of Computer Science and Engineering plus refurbishment of existing computer and electronic engineering labs

This exciting refurbishment creates flexible, multi-purpose innovation and showcase space for the Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) department at the University of Westminster’s 115 New Cavendish Street Campus. The project also included a general refresh and refurbishment to the existing CSE computer and electronic engineering labs.

The school lacked flexible workspace where group and project work could be done for work-based-learning modules in collaboration with internal and industry partners. There was also no significant space for showcase events such as open and applicant days and other outreach activities.

The prominent innovation space is now capable of switching its use between a 40-seat programming lab for group work to collaborative working space with writing walls, exhibition areas for open days and business engagement, as well as general meeting space.

The computer and electronic engineering labs on the ground and lower ground floors were also reconfigured and the M&E upgraded for a better student experience where small collaboration spaces were included into every lab.

On the ground floor, three existing rooms were combined to create a new, single and accessible open plan area for work-based teaching and learning. This includes a place for creative thinking where students can step away from their screens.

Interior Design

The interior design concept focused on the campus’ central London location, pulling out warm orange tones which can be found in the red brick architecture of Westminster.

We also looked at the movement, routes and busyness of city life and the graphical similarity this has with computer circuits and coding. This informed a palette of rich greens and terracotta’s which contracts to the typical cool toned aesthetics associated with the technology sector. This pallet was accompanied with statement feature lighting and graphical wayfinding elements to deliver a showcase teaching space for the University.

A collaborative process

The project team was appointed in April 2021 with a view for the works to be completed ready for the start of the new academic year. The collaborative approach of the whole team and early stakeholder engagement enabled us to hit the target dates.

Aside from the fast-paced programme and COVID restrictions, the team had to deal with a number of challenges including: working in a live campus environment; services for other areas of the building running through the site; and, programming of long lead items such as chilled beams, architectural ceiling, fire rated glazing. We overcame all challenges with great teamwork.

“The Stride Treglown team was absolutely fantastic and we are very happy they were appointed on the CSE Innovation Space project. The users of the space had an idea of what they wanted the spaces to look like but they needed a vision and “a stir”. Cora, Josh and Izzie listened to our objectives and presented us with various design options. In the end, we were given spaces that exceeded our expectations. Stride Treglown understood the brief well and created the spaces taking into account financial limitations. They were also very friendly, approachable, and available. We are working together again on some other projects across the University.”

Joanna Prusiewicz – Estates Project Manager, University of Westminster