Greswolde Construction

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Fast track for University Showpiece

It has been all systems go on a scheme that included a mock court room being created as a showpiece facility at Coventry University.

Greswolde teams have put collective shoulders to the wheel to ensure the £1m scheme remained on programme – at times loading skips by hand because of limited access.

“It’s a fast track project, which was completed in time for the new autumn term intake,” says Contracts Manager Jason Taplin.

Site Manager Gary Kefford has done an excellent job starting it all up and, along with our QS Dan Robertson, everyone’s pulling together.”

The project involved creating a new large reception area and ‘crush space’ for students waiting to enter adjoining lecture theatres, together with adjacent staff offices, toilets and two lifts, all within the University’s George Eliot building and surrounding campus buildings.

There is also a lecture theatre that can be converted into a moot court – a mock training court in which hypothetical cases are tried by law students.

The former rotunda café has been converted into an interview area and office accommodation.

Chris Lovelock, of the University’s Estates Department, explains that the work is a refurbishment, forming part of the Faculty of Business Environment and Society’s initiative to improve facilities and attract new students.

“The moot court is a showpiece structure for this Faculty,” he adds.

“Each of the University’s Faculties tries to create its own particular facilities to attract students to Coventry.  I’m confident this will have that effect and the Faculty is really looking forward to it opening.”

Chris says everyone’s very happy with how the project progressed, and his view is shared by Jon Moore of Robothams Architects in Warwick, who says he is very impressed by Greswolde.

Robothams and Greswolde have worked together before, with previous clients including Bupa Care Homes and St. Paul’s Church in Leamington Spa.  But the Coventry project broke new ground for the architects.

“We haven’t built a moot court before.  It was an interesting design challenge,” explains Jon.

“We needed to establish exactly what the University was looking for in terms of flexibility as a normal lecture theatre which can then revert to being suitable for mooting.

“The other key thing we’ve done is realign a principal route through the building, to link directly with the Hub building.  The rotunda space will be converted into a consultation area, with one-to-one booths and fitted furniture designed to follow the shape of the space and the profile of the roof.

“It has been an interesting design challenge to respond to the circular space and find a solution which works well.”

For Gary Kefford the challenge was the first part of the project.

“It was such a big strip out and there was limited access in the middle of a live University with no site parking.” He says.  “We could only get one little skip in, so it was all very tight.


“We had to take out all the mechanical equipment and electrics in the old café area, and full height block walls and ceilings, which were all loaded into skips by hand.  However, we’re on programme and everyone is happy with our approach to the complexities of the project.  It was a challenge but Greswolde always rises to challenges.”