The University of Warwick Faculty of Arts Building (FAB) has been given the runner-up position for the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Stirling Prize, an annual award for the best new building in the UK.
Designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, the FAB is an ambitious £60 million project housing the schools and departments of the University’s Faculty of Arts. The design takes inspiration from the surrounding greenery, with the feature staircase surrounded by four pavilions which act as a reflection of the roots and branches of a tree. Reaching a total of eight stories, it is the tallest building on campus.
Beyond lecture theatres and seminar rooms, facilities extend to a media lab, cinema and screening studios, and an antiquities room. Students from various faculties across the University use the building’s communal study spaces, as well as the Caffè Nero on the ground floor.
Fellow runners-up included several ambitious conversion projects and housing facilities
In the 2016 brief, the themes of collaboration and community were heavily emphasised, and upon announcement of the FAB’s runner-up status, the University’s Vice-Chancellor and President, Stuart Croft, praised contributors’ “hard work, passion and expertise” in making the vision a reality.
Not only was Warwick the only university to have one of their buildings shortlisted for the prize, but the Faculty of Arts structure was deemed one of the most prestigious in British architecture. Fellow runners-up included several ambitious conversion projects and housing facilities. In the end, the award was won by the John Morden Centre, a retirement day care facility.
FAB was named Building of the Year for the West Midlands, in RIBA’s regional awards in May
Runner-up status for building of the year comes after the FAB was named the ‘2023 West Midlands Building of the Year’ in RIBA’s Regional Awards in May.
In a press release announcing the news, the University highlighted its attempts to show its support for the arts through multi-million-pound investments, which include a new Venice ‘home’, and a further £42 million pound investment in the Warwick Arts Centre, the largest outside of London.