Engaging spaces for the minds of tomorrow

The way we work and communicate is forever changing, and the way we learn is no different. We've revitalised the University of Surrey with cutting edge facilities for staff and students alike. From modern open-plan workspaces, to an ultra-cool student wellbeing centre. Let's take a look around...

Key features

  • Living walls
  • Hanging seats
  • Seating variety
  • Library
  • Garden
  • Kitchen

Uni can be pretty stressful; strict deadlines, studying between lectures and not to mention the social commitments. The University of Surrey recognised this through engaging with us to design and develop a student wellbeing centre; The Hub. It’s where students can go for downtime, hold group project meetings, or to simply study in an inspirational setting. It's an inspirational space that's about as far from your traditional university space as many of us could remember.

This multi-use space is bright and inspirational, finished off with living walls, hanging seating pods and a huge array of seating and collaboration areas. This gives each corner of the space its own sense of personality; from the library, to the garden and even kitchen-inspired areas.

The centre of the wellness hub is a collaboration spot where students come together. While in the daytime it’s often decked out with outdoor seating, these can be quickly moved to open up the centre of the floor to allow for events or a standing reception; creating a truly dynamic and multi-functional space.

A consideration in designing the wellbeing hub was to keep it open enough to allow security a to see who is using the different areas, yet provide enough privacy to avoid that feeling of an open library; really allow students to get away from it all. To facilitate this, we separated areas with hanging plants and used half-height walls to also let natural light flow through to the inward-facing areas.

Wonderful workspaces

We set out to provide working spaces as diverse as the teaching staff and courses on offer. This space has a bright and modern décor; with bright colourful flooring and accent furniture balances with industrial-style exposed beams and services. It provides an inspirational space for academic and University staff to collaborate.

Collaboration zones are demarcated with bright and colourful touches; from bright blue meeting pods and yellow carpet under the collaboration desks, to the stylish transfers on the meeting room glass. These colour splashes help with wayfinding and creating a sense of identity in the area, but also provide that subconscious creative burst through the use of colour.

Lockers are an essential part of effectively implementing agile working; giving staff a space to store belonging and helping to keep hot desk areas clean and tidy for all. The are situated near the breakout areas and along thoroughfares, reducing noise and interruption around the traditional workstations.

View from the top

When we were presented with this top floor, open-plan office space, we wanted to let the base build’s raked ceilings speak for themselves, so we set about making them a feature of the fit out. We accentuated existing architectural features to make a real impact, while keeping most of the floor accessible and in open plan layout.

A double-height print of the University’s iconic Stag adorns the wall looking over the workstations, and is accentuated with famous literary and pop-reference quotes. Predominantly charcoal carpets were chosen for their acoustic absorbing qualities, while also acting as a visual contrast to the vaulted wooden ceilings. Storage cubes help facilitate activity-based working and provide a burst of colour to the otherwise nature-inspired colour palate.

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