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Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Building School of Health and Wellbeing

Built in 1965, Berrows House was designed by Austin: Smith Lord as the home for the Berrows Organisation, then part of the News of the World Group. The building was used by the newspaper’s editorial team and housed the main printing machine which sat within a tall three-story hall, lit from above by a saw-tooth rooflight.

In response to a national competition for a call to re-design the building for the School of Health and Wellbeing, GNA delivered a winning concept: To open up the building, To focus on the experience within the building and To replan the entry and facilities for teaching and learning.

We were subsequently commissioned by the University to lead the team and produce an internal environment suitable for teaching, social learning and staff office space.

Providing approximately 4000sqm of space for teaching with a capacity of 500 students, the building was transformed to be a fully accessible environment. The design of the building focused on the introduction of a new central space, to develop and enhance the natural light within the building. The interior design of this space reflected a calmer more sociable environment, promoting wellbeing for its users and bringing a range of medical students together in one space.

Cladding the building in metal, to reflect the University’s other building in the vicinity of the Severn campus such as the riverside arena and the Hive, the golden shingles and linear strip detailing mirrors the expressed structure of the original building, whilst softening the brutalist nature of the original.

Reusing the existing structure and carefully considering materials specification and thermal performance was an important factor in the redevelopment, which delivered both an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of A, and Ska Gold.

The scheme also focused on the inclusivity of its users, ensuring full wheelchair access through the building, with wider doors, larger lifts and adjustable teaching and social learning spaces.

The University of Worcester have worked with GNA over the past 3 years to design a new Health and Wellbeing building on its Severn Campus. What was once the home of the local newspaper will be transformed into a new facility to accommodate the University’s new Medical School. Their pragmatic approach and their understanding and recognition of the constraints placed on projects (financial, time and quality) mean they can react and adapt. They are prepared to listen and accommodate the views of other members of the design team and wider project team."

Mark Evans Assistant Director - Estates, University of Worcester
Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Building


The EGA provides an inclusive and sustainable building for the School of Health and Wellbeing, transforming a formerly brutalist structure into a space full of natural light and improved legibility for staff and students.