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Bath Spa University’s Locksbrook Campus wins three top architecture excellence awards

Locksbrook Campus

Bath Spa University’s Locksbrook Campus – home to its Bath School of Art, Film and Media, and Bath School of Design – has scored a hat-trick taking home the ‘Overall Winner’, ‘Education Winner’ and ‘Sustainability Winner’ accolades at this year’s prestigious Schüco Excellence Awards.

The Grade II listed building designed by Sir Nicholas Grimshaw in 1976 was formerly the Herman Miller factory and was bought by the University in 2016. Following a period of remodelling and refurbishment by Grimshaw Architects, the building was transformed into Bath Spa’s Locksbrook Campus and was formally opened in 2020.

Today, the building proudly stands as an innovative, open plan space redesigned to meet 21st century environmental standards, with technical workshops surrounded by flexible studio spaces and large social areas for students, staff and visitors. 

Winning three Schüco Excellence Awards serves as fitting recognition of the collaboration between Grimshaw Architects and specialist façade contractor, Structura, in transforming the building into an exceptional example of a modern educational establishment – one that inspires the delivery and learning of degrees such asBA (Hons) Architecture and BA (Hons) Interior Design.

Now in their 10th year, the Schüco Excellence Awards attract a broad range of high-calibre projects from practices both large and small. In their assessment of all entries, the judges focused on four key criteria: creativity, innovation, technical skill and creative collaboration.

When announcing the Locksbrook Campus project between Grimshaw Architects, Structura and Bath Spa University as the Overall Winner, the judges made the following comments:

“This exceptional and inspiring adaptive reuse project illustrates how the industry has evolved to meet contemporary performance requirements, while maintaining the original aesthetic intent.” – Carol Patterson, Office for Metropolitan Architecture UK Director

“The refurbishment of the façade on this outstanding adaptive reuse project is particularly successful, combining sensitive repairs and reuse of the primary framing and curtain walling channels.” – Ingrid Petit, Associate at Feilden Fowles Architects

Also winning the Education Building award further cemented the project teams’ achievements and their forward-thinking approach to reuse was again commended by the judges, as was the ‘sophisticated yet sensitive upgrade of the existing façade and glazing systems’.

The project teams’ exemplary ‘adapt and reuse’ approach to being environmentally-friendly was also celebrated with the building’s Sustainability award win, with the judges acknowledging improvements to the façade as being particularly successful due to their ability to reduce heat loss by around 80 per cent. 

Speaking on the significance of these award wins, Dr Kristin Doern, Head of School for Bath School of Design at Bath Spa University, said:

“Winning not one but three Schüco Excellence Awards is high praise indeed for the work that has gone into reimagining our incredible Locksbrook Campus and making it a hub for creators, thinkers, makers and doers. We are immensely proud of these achievements and we are grateful for the long lasting positive impact that the project has had, and will continue to have, on our community. 

These awards encapsulate how we live, breathe and teach design education – particularly architectural design – by utilising inspiration from the building and surroundings.”

Ian Parkes, Architecture Course Leader at Bath Spa University, added: 

“Through our Architecture degree, you quite literally learn about the relationships between conservation, planning and the use and reuse of spaces in relation to their location and within their historic and future contexts. How we design, create, reinvent and repurpose our built environment is constantly evolving, and Locksbrook Campus is an excellent real-world example of this.”

Bath is a World Heritage City that is at the cutting edge of architecture, seamlessly balancing the old and the new.

Commenting on the three Schüco Excellence award wins, Ben Heath, Principal at Grimshaw Architects said:

“This award recognises the close collaboration between Grimshaw and the specialist façade contractor Structura in delivering the new home for Bath School of Art, Film and Media, and Bath School of Design; and is a wonderful demonstration of the schools passionate belief in the transformative effect of Design and Making working together to deliver exceptional outcomes.”

Locksbrook Campus has previously received both a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) South West Award and RIBA National Award, recognising and celebrating what an inspirational place it is to come together to create, learn and grow.

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