St Alphege Building

University of Winchester
Completed 2012

A new Learning and Teaching Building, central to the King Alfred Campus

The new Learning and Teaching Building is another commission from the University of Winchester; forming another part of the emerging Design Engine masterplan for King Alfred’s Campus. The St. Alphege Building is situated within a central location of the King Alfred Campus and was officially opened in January 2013 by His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex.

The St. Alphege Building provides 10 flexible teaching studios, breakout spaces, a high-level rooftop extension and a glazed atrium linking the existing and new buildings.

The building occupies a steeply sloping site and the southern elevation overlooks a large playing field with distant views towards the downs. A former 1930s Faculty of Arts building was demolished to make way for the new building.

The new building (St.Alphege) is physically connected to the existing 1970s St.Edburga teaching building, which has undergone extensive refurbishment works, as part of a second phase of the project. The St Edburga building is completely refurbished, with new thermally efficient external cladding and a brand new rooftop extension, which transforms the original building. The new buildings combine to form a new landscaped Piazza space fronting the Sparkford Road entrance.

Carried out with contractor Geoffrey Osborne Ltd, the new buildings were delivered on a fast-track programme, and use natural ventilation facade design and technologies which contribute to an overall BREEAM excellent project.

The Brief


RIBA Award, Regional South, Winner


City of Winchester Trust Award, Joint Winner & Sustainability, Winner


Civic Trust Award, Winner


Solent Design Award, Urban Design, Winner


The University of Winchester’s brief was initially to provide 8 teaching spaces within a new building for approximately 600 students. The site with an existing 1920s examination hall, was adjacent to an existing 1970s teaching building, which had to remain partially operational during construction.

Phase 2 of the works converted a further two lecture spaces in the existing building and provided two additional lecture rooms and an open learning space as part of a rooftop extension.

As part of the University’s aspiration to drive higher standards of excellence for studying and the student experience, the building was set to achieve BREEAM excellent from the outset of the project. This has seen innovative technology and design used to harness and control passive environmental factors. This gives a more comfortable and controllable space that aids teaching and wellbeing. It also provides the obvious environmental benefits of natural light, natural ventilation and reduced energy consumption. As well as providing excellent teaching rooms, particular attention was given to the external areas between campus buildings, which form a critical social space and important frontage for the University of Winchester.

Design Engine Architects have provided the University of Winchester an imaginative, professional and practical service over the 8 years, introducing a seed change in the quality of buildings which underpins the ethos of the institution and at the same time are cost effective.

John Mann, Director of Estates, University of Winchester