Anglia Ruskin University: Ashcroft Business School

Chelmsford, UK

The commission to design this new business school for Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) followed an international design competition. The brief demanded a building of architectural distinction that would be a centre for learning, teaching and research in studies related to management and business. It was also necessary that the building had a high level of environmental efficiency in keeping with other buildings on the University's Rivermead campus – also designed and masterplanned by WilkinsonEyre.

A freeform shape was used for the building's main, stainless steel-clad auditorium, articulating the new building from an existing learning resource centre to which it is connected, and 'floating' above the entrance and foyer space below. The building has achieved a BREEAM "excellent" rating, utilising its own thermal mass and a TermoDeck system for air distribution and passive cooling. A glass bioclimatic wall forms a significant architectural feature of the building, allowing maximum daylight penetration into classrooms whilst dramatically reducing heat loss.