Keele University’s Denise Coates Foundation Building has been named as a 2021 Civic Trust Regional Finalist, recognising the building’s universal design excellence.
Located at the entrance of Keele’s campus on the University’s Science and Innovation Park, the Denise Coates Foundation Building is a purpose-built facility for student-business collaboration. It is home to both talented students and leading business academics in the Keele Business School as well as housing the Smart Innovation Hub – which offers a range of office space and business support opportunities to enable for new businesses and entrepreneurs to grow and develop.
The state-of-the-art building has now been recognised as a finalist in the 2021 Civic Trust Awards which recognise the very best in architecture and environmental design, inclusiveness and accessibility, as well as rewarding projects that offer a positive cultural, social, economic or environmental benefit to their local communities.
In partnership with architects from BDP the building was constructed with a key focus on accessibility and inclusion for all users.
Designed to encompass the ethos of flexibility, simplicity and collaboration, the core of the building is the triple height atrium space and includes shared pods designed specifically to encourage collaboration. The rest of the building is a single corridor, filled with offices which have been wrapped thoughtfully around the atrium space resulting in all offices either having a view of the atrium space or a view of nature from an external view out to the wooded surroundings. The building as a whole acts as a catalyst for new businesses and academic collaborations both within the university and throughout the local and wider community.
Since opening the space has become a hive of activity for students, businesses and academia. A series of high-profile events have been held in the atrium since its unveiling, including Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce’s ‘Let’s Do Business Festival’, the University’s Breaking the Mould Awards celebration and TEDx Keele, as well as a number of smaller workshops, seminars and guest lectures.
Director of the Smart Innovation Hub, Dr Nick Gostick commented: “It is brilliant to be part of a building that is creating so much value to both the University and businesses, creating opportunities for growth and offering many avenues of support for local SME’s.
“The building provides a central location that encourages interactions across the business-university community, due to its variety of open spaces allowing staff and students from Keele’s Business School to interact and collaborate with business tenants and service users.”
BDP Principal Architect, Sue Emms, commented: “BDP is delighted that the Smart Innovation Hub has been shortlisted for this prestigious award which celebrates excellence in the built environment. The Hub building has been designed around an ethos of collaboration, user engagement and entrepreneurial spirit and is a positive contribution to the university campus and the wider community”.
To find out more about the building and the opportunities it is creating for businesses please click here.
The Keele University Science and Innovation Park Smart Innovation Hub (Ref No. 32R17P01691) / Innovation Centre 6, located within the Denise Coates Foundation Building, has been part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the England Growth Programme 2014-2020, the Midlands Engine and Staffordshire County Council with support from the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.