Past Events

Past Events

Day Visit


HEDQF Visit: University of Kent - Canterbury Campus


When: 13 September 2017, 10.00-1700

Where: Sibson Building, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7FS 


From a University started in 1965 with some 500 students and 150 staff, the University of Kent has grown today into an institution of over 20,000 students and over 4,000 staff.


Director of Estates, Peter Czarnomski, commenced the day with an overview of how the 1960s campus is being updated to accommodate the University’s plans for future growth and investment. New synergies and efficiencies of collocating departments are being explored and new student destinations being created. At the campus heart the iconic Brutalist Templeman Library is being extended and radically refurbished to accommodate new ways of study and learning. 


One of the first of the new developments to be completed is the Sibson Building that successfully brings together the Schools of Business and Maths into a single 8,000m2 interconnected academic hub, with shared learning and teaching at its heart.  Set within woodland on the northern edge of the campus, Sibson also creates a vibrant new campus destination.   


Paul Verrion, School Manager of Kent Business School, Ian Goodfellow of Penoyre & Prasad and Adam Worrall of Willmott Dixon Construction provided insight into the challenges and opportunities of bringing the two schools together and of delivering, in a live campus environment, the largest new building since the founding of the University.


After a tour of Sibson and lunch, we visited:

  • Colyer-Fergusson Music Building – new concert hall and rehearsal space (Tim Ronalds Architects) 
  • Wigoder Law Building – new law clinic (Hawkins\Brown) 
  • Templeman Library – extension and refurbishment (Penoyre & Prasad)


Key Speakers:

Peter Czarnomski, Director of Estates at University of Kent

Paul Verrion, School Manager of Kent Business School

Ian Goodfellow, Partner at Penoyre & Prasad

Adam Worrall, Project Director at Willmott Dixon


Evening Seminar & Visit


Moving off campus – challenges and opportunities 


When: 5 September 2017, 18.00-20.00

Where: UCL School of Management, Level 38, One Canada Square, London E14 5AA


With space at a premium, especially on constrained urban estates, many universities are looking to move their facilities elsewhere. Following UCL School of Management’s relocation from Bloomsbury to Canary Wharf, this seminar explored the challenges and opportunities of creating a functional, high quality, self-contained space off of the main campus. With a design approach that responds cleverly to the brief, the School of Management provides an exemplary environment for learning, teaching and working. 


Key speakers:

Julian Robinson, Director of Estates, LSE (Chairman)

Justine Fletcher, Estate Strategy Manager, UCL

Bert de Reyck, Professor and Director of School of Management, UCL

Matthew Goulcher, Managing Director, Levitt Bernstein

Third HEDQF Annual Conference


Breaking the Mould: Universities Supporting Industry, Enterprise and Innovation


When: 5 July 2017

Where: University of Sheffield


Government policy and capital funding is increasingly focussed on universities supporting enterprise, innovation and manufacturing, all the more so with BREXIT.  Join colleagues to hear how these changes are being embraced within universities and industry and what it means for the design of university campuses. 


Based in the “Diamond”, The University of Sheffield’s new £81 million undergraduate engineering building, the Conference looked at examples from the UK and abroad, including the University of Sheffield’s world-leading Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, in partnership with 90 companies from Boeing, Rolls Royce, BAE systems and Aerospace to small local companies and the University of Falmouth’s new enterprise centres in Cornwall.   


Teaching is changing also, responding to competition and student demands.  Learn how the new campus for Northampton University is reshaping how teaching is provided to students, without lecture theatres, and, looking at non-traditional models, how the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology is developing its new private university in Malmesbury, Wiltshire.


View the post-conference report here.

Evening Workshop


Extending Stakeholder Engagement


When: 24 May 2017, 17.00 - 19.00

Where: ResoLex, 70 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1EU



Julian Robinson from LSE discussing collaboration in design development at our RADAR Roundtable, jointly hosted by ResoLex and HEDQF.


Day Visit


WU Vienna


When: Thursday 4 May 2017, 14:00-18:00

Where: The Vienna University of Economics and Business, Welthandelsplatz 1 1, 1020 Wien


A joint Higher Education Design Quality Forum and Association of University Directors of Estates venture to the striking new Campus WU.  

This was a fantastic opportunity to join fellow members of AUDE and the HEDQF to visit the new WU campus which represents an important step in the University's development. The trip included a guided tour and presentations by the Vice Rector and Head of Campus and Facilities Management on how the campus aligns with the university’s vision for education and the practical issues of the project. 


Close to the Prater public park, and next to the exhibition centre of Vienna, the campus features six main building complexes resting on approximately ten hectares. The master plan was created by BUSarchitektur under the guidance of the architect Laura Spinadel. The buildings were designed by architectural firms from Spain, the UK, Germany, Japan and Austria. The dominant element of the campus is the Library and Learning Centre, by the late Zaha Hadid. ‘The WU Campus is a special place for research and education with a unique atmosphere. This exceptionality shall be reflected in the countenance of its architecture. The university complex shall be a landmark radiating beyond the city limits. Its architecture shall be conceived as a subject of fascination’ - from the project brief.

Day Visit


Coventry University Building Visit


When: 27 April 2017, 10.00-16.30

Where: Engineering and Computing Building, Coventry University


Coventry University have invested in a major programme of campus regeneration, transforming its largely post war city centre estate into a vibrant state-of-the-art facilities. The visit included tours to the Hub; the heart of student life and Campus health and well-being, as well as informal learning spaces, the dynamic Engineering and Computing building and the newest addition - a new Health and Life Sciences building.



Robert Talliss - Group Director of Estate Development, Coventry University

Heidi Corbet and Nick Gaskell - Hawkins\Brown, The Hub Building

The Hub: Jacqueline Fazakarley, Customer Service Manager, Coventry University

Engineering and Computing Building: Elizabeth Smith, Operations Director, Faculty of Engineering, Environment & Computing

On site: Health and Life Sciences Building, Mark Evans (Broadway Malyan) and Alan Bell (BAM).

Evening Debate


What can Higher Education Institutions and the Private Science Sector learn from each other?


When: 20 April 2017, 17.30

Where: B200 Lecture Theatre, City University London, Northampton Square, London EC1V 0HB


A chaired debate on whether Higher Education Institutes can learn from Independent Research Specialists, and a review of the positive knowledge sharing between the Private Science and Higher Education sectors. Chaired by Kevin Gibbons, Director, Property & Facilities, City University London.



  • Martino Picardo, CEO, Stevenage BioScience Catalyst
  • Prof. Gerry Ackerman, Head of Strategic Partnerships, University College London
  • Nick Benn, Director, BMJ Architects
  • Rob Burborough, Partner, 3PM  
Image credit: Wilkinson Eyre
Image credit: Wilkinson Eyre

Day Visit


Cambridge University


When: 5 April 2017, 10.00 - 18.00

Where: Sainsbury Laboratory, Bateman Street, Cambridge, CB2 1LR


A day-long exploration of some major established and new buildings in Cambridge, gaining some insights into some of the most ambitious investment plans of any university in the UK.

Included visits to the Stirling Prize-winning Sainsbury Laboratory and the Attenborough Building on the New Museums Site. Lunch at Girton College with an introductory talk by the Mistress, Professor Susan Smith, followed by a talk by Heather Topel on masterplans for West and North-west Cambridge. We visited both of these sites, including tours of the iconic Schlumberger Gould Research Building and the new Maxwell Building for the Cavendish Physics Lab. We also heard about the current £350 million scheme to rebuild the Cavendish on the West Cambridge site.

Evening Visit


FUTURE + HERITAGE SYNERGY: 20th Century heritage reinvigorated for 21st Century student and academic needs 


When: 16 February 2017, from 17.00

Where: School of Oriental and African Studies, Paul Webley Wing, North Block, London, WC1E 7HX


A tour explaining how the School of Oriental and African Studies requirements for a new student hub, teaching, study and academic spaces were accommodated within an iconic Grade II listed building in the hear of Bloomsbury Conversation Area, creating a modern and enlivened student-academic centre as a focal point for its centenary celebrations.

Evening Round Table


The UEA Enterprise Centre – A Collaborative Exemplar, 9 February 2017


Professor John French shared his experience of leading this multi award-winning project and the approach he took to managing the stakeholders who included the European Regional Development Fund, BRE, Norwich Research Park, BBSRC, UEA and incoming start-up clients




The challenges and complexities of academic space, 8 February 2017, University of Reading


The sector continues to wrestle with the tension between open/collaborative spaces and traditional cellular offices. Academia is sometimes referred to as the last bastion of the old notion of an enclosed office. This can be a difficult and controversial subject and this debate used case studies and experiences to illustrate good practice.

Evening Debate


Achieving high-performance buildings: What can the higher education sector and the private sector learn from each other?, 25 January 2017

Buro Four, 1 Naoroji Street, London, WC1X 0GB

Listed buildings in universities: opportunities and challenges (01 November 2016)


More than thirty members of HEDQF gathered in the magnificent surroundings of the Queen Anne Wing of the University of Greenwich’s campus in the Old Royal Naval College to consider the issue of listed buildings and their role in the higher education estate. 


The meeting had three themes. The first was the way in which the University of Greenwich had adapted the Grade I buildings by Wren, superbly located by the Thames, for educational use. Michael Flanagan, Director of Estates and Facilities at Greenwich, who was our host for the afternoon, took us through the history of the site and also explained that, after fifteen years of occupation, the University is now working up a scheme for refurbishment in which design detail will be crucial. Michael and his colleagues also led us on a fascinating tour, including the undercroft (above) and the stair (pictured below), which leads to what must be one of the most spectacular Vice Chancellor’s Offices in the UK. 


The second presentation turned our attention to the wider context of listing nationally. Dr Roger Bowdler (Director of Listing at Historic England) took us through the history of listing and the current processes involved. Roger emphasized his keenness to engage with universities in both masterplanning and the likelihood of future listings and the detailed consideration of individual schemes.


The third element of the programme was a fascinating presentation by Amir Ramezani of Avanti Architects on their scheme for the Florey Building at Queen’s College, Oxford. Designed by James Stirling and opened in 1971, the building has 75 student rooms located on a site by the Cherwell. Controversial from the start, the now-listed building is soon to be renovated, with a degree of internal reorganisation and external addition. 


The meeting concluded with an excellent round table discussion chaired by Julian Robinson (LSE) when the speakers were joined by Richard Brookes of Turley and Pia Berg of Penoyre Prasad.


We are most grateful to the University of Greenwich for hosting a very successful meeting and to Turley for their generous sponsorship of refreshments before and afterwards.


All photo credits, Simon Fraser.


Philip Ogden

Chair, HEDQF


Photo Credit: Simon Fraser

Future Campus – The University of the Future, 12 July 2016 


Our second annual conference at UAL.


Click here for further details of all past and upcoming conferences.

Photo credit: Ben Bisek for WilkinsonEyre

Oxford, 17 March 2016 

The day included tours of: 

  • Weston Library: New public areas, reading rooms & special collections archive (Giles Gilbert Scott, 1924. Remodelled by WilkinsonEyre, 2014)
  • Radcliffe Observatory Quarter 
  • Blavatnik School of Government (Herzog de Meuron Architects, 2015)
  • Mathematics Building (Rafael Viñoly  Architects, 2013)
  • Middle East Centre, St Antony's College (Zaha Hadid Architects, 2015)
  • Biochemistry Building (Hawkins Brown, 2008)
  • Earth Sciences Building (WilkinsonEyre, 2010)

Dublin, 8 December 2015


When the bottom dropped out of the Celtic Tiger in 2008, Dublin Institute of Technology’s dream of building a new campus in the grounds of a former mental asylum seemed doomed.  However a Public-Private Partnership initiative came to the rescue of the Moore Ruble Yudell masterplan and the Grangegorman project is now well underway.


In December last year, a twenty-five strong group from the Higher Education Design Quality Forum toured the newly landscaped, inner city campus and learned about the city planning background, the complex PPP procurement model and DIT’s approach to design management. The scheme involves the provision of new science and arts faculties, a student hub, a replacement psychiatric hospital, a health centre and school in and around the historic Grangorman buildings. The former Dublin City Planner, Dick Gleeson and key members of the development team shared their experience with the group (including estates staff from a number of UK universities including London, Leeds and Plymouth) and discussed lessons learned.


A briefing note with key findings is to be published soon.


In contrast with DIT’s ground-breaking campus development, the HEDQF were also invited to visit three libraries at Trinity College Dublin. The three represented varying stages of Trinity’s grand history: the antique Old Library with its high barrel vault, the brutally horizontal arrangement of the Berkeley Library designed by Ahrends Burton & Koralek in the 1960s and the box-witihin-a-box Long Room Hub, completed in 2011. Each of these superb projects reflects how knowledge was stored and disseminated, at the time of conception, in their own exquisite manner.


Manchester, 16 June 2015

First Annual Conference - The University and the City


This conference was organised together with the Manchester School of Architecture, which is part of both Manchester University and Manchester Metropolitan University and is located in The Corridor, a unique business location in 243 acres at the heart of Manchester’s knowledge economy, the largest academic campus in the UK and the largest clinical academic campus in Europe.


During the day, conference sessions and discussion explored and debated aspects of those relationships in Manchester, elsewhere in Great Britain, and internationally and considered the role that design and sustainability have in achieving success and reinforcing the identity of the city-university partnership. Students gave insights into their experiences and the conference fostered a discussion on how to join up development sites for the benefit of the people who live and work in the city and for the university. Delegates also had the opportunity to take part in optional tours of adjacent projects.

Regent Street Cinema, London - 9 September 2015

- Bringing new life to Britain's first cinema through a sensitive adaptation and restoration


This popular visit took place at the University of Westminster. In its earlier guise as the original Polytechnic Institution, the venue became the first place in Britain to show moving pictures to a paying audience in 1896 when the Lumière brothers used their new Cinématographe. Following a major project, the University re-opened the Regent Street Cinema in May 2015 as 'the birthplace of British cinema'.


This subject proved of great interest to participants because it covered issues relating to planning, viable business uses, financing arrangements, intricate and sympathetic design, equipment, and an interior intervention that helped to convey the cinema's story. The ultimate objective of creating a facility that meets the demands of the modern film industry, as well as the use of historic projection methods, has been achieved. It is one of the few in the country to show 16mm and 35mm film as well as the latest in 4K digital film. The 187-seat Regent Street Cinema is an outlet for students, researchers and senior academics engaged in the University’s programmes for film production and cinematography, and creates a unique bridge to the international film world. Events held there range from repertory screenings and premieres through to documentaries and animation. 


The setting is of a classic cinema with echoes of the late Victorian and Edwardian periods that also has shades of more recent eras too. Originally built in 1848, the Regent Street building had a strong connection with innovation from the very start. The Polytechnic pioneered many forms of invention and discovery and in recent years the space had become used as a lecture hall. The University was supported in the £6m cinema project by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Quintin Hogg Trust, the Garfield Weston Foundation and many others. It took three years in the planning and business case preparation and then eighteen months on site to complete the works.


The HEDQF visit to the cinema took the form of a welcome address from the University's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Geoff Petts, followed by a series of presentations from the project delivery team which included the architect, Tim Ronalds, and the main contractor, Overbury. 

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