We were invited to submit ideas for the transformation of the Students Union building at the University of Surrey, as one of six architects shortlisted to tender as part of an OJEU selection process. The building was originally by Maguire and Murray, opposite Stag Hill Court residences of the same period by the same practice. The Union had been subsequently extended so that its original clarity has been lost, and a comprehensive programme of extension and refurbishment is needed to restore the site as one of the most significant on the campus, while providing new facilities for both the Union and the University, and realising the potential of the site within the future context.
Our solution was, in effect, a masterplan for the phased development of the site while in occupation, creating a memorable atrium at the core of the site which would make the building legible and a vibrant and attractive place to be for everyone. The University (so far) seems to have preferred to retain the model that we presented, however, we were not successful, and wish HLM and the University good luck with the project.