The architects helping a Gloucestershire university and college remain among the nation's very best

To remain among the very best in England at delivering further and higher education you also need to continually invest in first class facilities, and Hartpury University and Hartpury College is doing just that – with to the expertise of county architects Roberts Limbrick.

By Andrew Merrell  |  Published

It has just been named the number one English mainstream university for teaching, to go with the outstanding Ofsted rating for its college, but those are only two of the significant achievements Hartpury University and Hartpury College has to celebrate - thanks to the help of a certain Gloucestershire firm of architects.

The university and college have also been investing millions of pounds in the facilities at their shared north Gloucestershire campus. 

Most notable among the additions to its already impressive site is the stunning Graze catering hub, conference and teaching centre with its curved glass frontage overlooking the sports fields alongside the site’s main entrance.

Russell Marchant, vice-chancellor, principal and chief executive officer at Hartpury College and Hartpury University, said: ‘The college and university has a number of exciting, ambitious projects ongoing currently which will only add to the already outstanding facilities we have here.

'Having Roberts Limbrick on our doorstep, with its ability to understand and help us develop our vision and to work with our other chosen partners, has been key to making it all possible.’

David Billingham is a director at Gloucester architects Roberts Limbrick, which designed the Graze building and has been working closely with fellow county firms Vitruvius Management Services and Barnwood Construction on the project.

He said: ‘Over the last few years, we have worked extensively with Hartpury University and Hartpury College to deliver a series of new buildings for their campus, helping them to achieve their wider strategic plan of supporting student growth with first-class facilities.’ 

Graze is perhaps the most eye-catching of the multi-million pound schemes, its graceful sweeping façade respecting the existing buildings and roof lines and providing sustainable, environmentally friendly facilities to accommodate growing student numbers.

‘Sustainability is at the heart of the design with the incorporation of PV electric panels, excellent levels of insulation, natural ventilation and good daylight all to reduce energy consumption.

‘Accessibility was also key and all areas are fully accessible with design features including level entrance thresholds, lift access to all levels and lowered servery counters,’ said Billingham.

The same attention to detail also went into Roberts Limbrick’s designs for the site’s Tech Box Park, an incubator for agri-tech businesses, and being applied to the forthcoming University Learning Hub.

‘The University Learning Hub will house the library and supporting learning areas. The two-storey building will include formal and informal study spaces, social spaces, café, and administrative facilities. Green roofing and landscaping will also help local ecology, biodiversity, and enhanced outdoor space,’ added Billingham.

Roberts Limbrick is a team of over 100 architects, designers and creatives based in Gloucester and Newport. As well as architecture, their services include interior design, landscape architecture, and urban design, working across a wide range of sectors.

Hartpury University was ranked the number one English mainstream university for teaching, second for overall satisfaction and academic support; and third for assessment and feedback, in the prestigious National Student Survey (NSS) 2022.

Hartpury College is rated outstanding by Ofsted (the Government Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills) and is one of the highest achieving land-based colleges in England with an overall student satisfaction rate of 99 per cent, the average grade a distinction and an A-level pass rate of 100 per cent.

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