The Alan Walters Building, University of Birmingham Business School. Built 2016. Architect: Berman Guedes Stretton.

Oculus Building, Warwick University, October 2016. Architect: Berman Guedes Stretton.

Wolfson College Oxford, Academic Wing 2016. Architect: Berman Guedes Stretton

Berman Guedes Stretton is delighted to have been shortlisted for a prestigious Architect of the Year Award 2017, by Building Design Magazine.

We have been shortlisted for our work in the Higher Education Sector.

The criteria for entry is to enter up to 3 completed projects from the last few years and one future project.

With a large proportion of our work in this sector, we actually found it hard to shortlist projects from within our own portfolio, however we decided to choose projects which supported our thesis on current and future trends within the sector.

Our analysis was based on recent changes to Higher Education Estates Investment, which we identified have emerged in response to changes in funding, as we believe that such influences are now likely to become more acute given increasing uncertainty over Brexit.

These changes were twofold:

The first is an increasing investment in Post Graduate education facilities, and facilities which support advanced and alternative methods of study such as associate and distance learning, as institutions grapple with the influence of MOOC’s and other online initiatives.

The second is a desire to rationalise the provision of facilities, looking for opportunities to consolidate functions into centralised and shared spaces which are no longer department specific. This efficiency drive, enabled by clever technology and booking systems, has a tangential benefit of forcing more cross disciplinary interaction, teaching and associated changes to pedagogy.

To represent these themes, we submitted the following projects.

Alan Walters Building, University of Birmingham.

The Oculus, University of Warwick.

New Academic Building, Wolfson College, Oxford.

Clerici Refurbishment, Oxford Brookes University.

There are numerous other projects we could have also considered, therefore we would like to offer our sincere thanks to all of our current and past clients, whose commissions have supported our practice and from whom we continue to learn. Fingers crossed for the awards dinner on 8th March.