Constructing Bristol Business School

The story of the build of Bristol Business School

The vision behind the design for Bristol Business School and Bristol Law School was around transparency, visibility, and collaboration.

We wanted to create a ‘live’ building where students, staff, and visitors would come to meet, study and stay. So it was important that the design of the building reflected that vision.

Image gallery

The project timeline

2013 - Developing the design

  • Stride Treglown Architects, Capita and Mace are all appointed to work on the Business School

2014 – The building begins

  • Stakeholder workshops take place
  • Demolition work starts
  • Planning approval granted 

2015 – Constructing the Business School

  • Britannia Construction begin enabling works and 78 lorry loads of soil leave the site in one week
  • A new cycle path is added to the student village
  • ISG are appointed as lead contractor
  • Time capsule buried onsite
  • First floor concrete frame completed

2016 – Bringing the vision to life

  • Fifth floor commences and the support frame goes up
  • Work begins on the Atrium stairs and bridges
  • Ground floor central slab completed
  • Topping out ceremony
  • Glazing is finished
  • New Chef for the Atrium Café appointed
  • Virtual reality tour of the Business School is open to staff and students

2017 – Our ambition made real

  • Over 100 rooms completed
  • First student tours of Bristol Business School take place
  • Bristol Business School is open to staff and students

Awards and accolades

We’re proud to have been shortlisted and the winner of some high-profile awards by our contribution to teaching and learning and through the excellent work done by our contractors.

  • Shortlisted – Times Higher Business School of the Year in 2017, 2018 and 2019
  • Shortlisted –Times Higher Education - Business School of the Year 2017
  • Gold Winner – Considerate Constructors Scheme 2017
  • ISG winner – Constructing Excellence South West Build Environment Awards 2016
  • Nominated – Young Achiever of the Year, Constructing Excellence South West, Jack Cooper (UWE Bristol alum).

UWE Bristol was shortlisted for the Times Higher Education 2019 Awards for Business School of the Year.

Reducing environmental impact

From high energy, efficient lighting to our green roofed bicycle store to encourage sustainable travel choices. Here are just a few of the ways Bristol Business School worked with our suppliers to minimise environmental impacts:

  • the packaging used by Godfrey Syrett to protect their furniture during transport is returned to site and re-used a minimum of five times before being recycled
  • all furniture found in the Bristol Business School has been sourced from UK suppliers
  • the steel used for the Reed hat and coat stands throughout the building is 100% recyclable at the end of its life cycle
  • the MFC used in the desks and storage in Bristol Business School is composed of up to 30% recycled content
  • a number of chairs throughout the building is clad in Synergy fabric by Camira. For every metre of Synergy sold; a donation is made to Just a Drop water charity. In the first year of this programme, £3,300 was donated through sales of this fabric range
  • all furniture suppliers to Bristol Business School hold ISO 14001 certification; the standard for environmental management systems.


Campaign achievements and celebrating our donors

We are grateful that almost £1 million was donated to the campaign from alumni, grant making trusts and companies.

Our fundraising campaign has seen us receive support from companies across Bristol including Clarke Willmott and TLT Solicitors. In addition, a range of Trusts and Foundations donated significant sums to the campaign and provided a matched funding opportunity that has seen all donations matched, £500 for every £1,000.

A number of alumni also donated and became involved in the project in a variety of ways.

Donations have enabled us to:

  • build six TEAL (Technology Enabled Active Learning) classrooms, transforming the way we teach and helping our students to collaborate to get the most out of their learning
  • equip the 300 seat lecture theatre with the best IT and AV equipment
  • kit out the Law Resources Room with the best material enabling students to excel in their studies
  • provide unrivalled opportunities for students to work directly alongside industry professionals and give them the skill-set so badly needed by business
  • break down barriers to education and raise aspirations for students from under-represented groups.

The additional money that we raised from the campaign proved to be invaluable to our students as they moved into their new home. We are continuing with our fundraising endeavours and will be raising money to support our students, particularly reaching out to young people who would otherwise miss out on higher education. Donations will enable us to raise aspirations and improve career outcomes through providing bursaries and mentoring opportunities.

You can find more information if you would like to see how we support students or to make a donation.

"Whether you're in Bristol, the South West or beyond, it’s in everyone's interest and society's interest that young people receive a good education, have got the wherewithal to learn and are given the best possible chance... I can't think of many better causes to donate money to."

Nick Baker, BA(Hons) Business Studies, now Chairman of investment team Concertare Partners, personal donor to the campaign

Nick Baker BA(Hons) Business Studies, now Chairman of investment team Concertare Partners, personal donor to the campaign

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About Bee

Donor Wall project

A unique feature of the building is the stunning Donor Wall, designed by current students to recognise the philanthropy of donors such as Nick. A group of five UWE Bristol Architecture students took on a ‘live’ project to design the installation.

A client group, including Nick, was put together and following a briefing session, the students developed a concept which over eight weeks turned ideas into reality.

Projects like this are of enormous value to UWE Bristol students and are a key part of our goal to equip all our students with real life skills and produce ready and able graduates.