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The Evolution of the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Building

The Evolution of the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Building

Set on the banks of the River Severn, the new Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Building stands, as a testament to the boldness of brutalist architecture. Originally constructed in 1965 as the home of Worcester News’ printing and distribution facilities, this expressive structure has now undergone a remarkable transformation.

The University of Worcester acquired the site in 2020, facilitating the expansion of their Severn Campus. Building upon previous developments such as the Riverside buildings, The Arena, The Garage, and the neighbouring Hive Library building, the masterplan for this site aims to create a vibrant campus environment, connecting St John's campus and the City via the Sabrina bridge.

Competing against architects from across the country for this masterplan, GNA’s primary focus was on maximising the existing features of Berrows House, whilst also reimagining the space. Once successful in our bid for this scheme, the formerly dim and functional paper storage and distribution areas were transformed, allowing the natural light to stream in through the north-facing roof lights.

During the initial assessment, our plan was to use a portion of the space as a large lecture hall. However, in design exploration a different path emerged, resulting in the creation of an additional internal floor. This new floor is now home to an anatomy laboratory and a teaching space, which has added a distinctive dimension to the area. By seamlessly blending educational functionality with the building's aesthetic character, this transformation has truly enhanced the overall space.

The surrounding two floors of teaching, office, and simulation spaces offer picturesque views of the campus and the river. With a golden shingled cladding reminiscent of the nearby Hive building, the overclad structure pays homage to the original brutalist style.

The School of Health, Wellbeing and Medicine forms part of the University’s Three Counties Medical School, a project that greatly benefitted from our extensive experience in designing specialist teaching spaces, healthcare facilities, and medical environments. For over two decades, our practice has consistently delivered exceptional projects in the public and private sectors. The result is a striking structure that not only boasts an improved thermal performance, but also holds an impressive RICS Ska Gold rating for sustainable construction.

Completing the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Building with contractors Stepnell Construction marks GNA’s second successful collaboration with the University of Worcester. Positioned adjacent to the International Inclusive Cricket and Education Centre, this forthcoming project promises to be a positive addition to the University’s expanding campus.

Find out more about the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Building