Vinson Building wins design awards
6 December 2019
The University of Buckingham’s Vinson Building was recognised by the Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) Design Awards last night. Winning the ‘Outstanding Design’ category and ‘Mixed Use Scheme’ category, the building houses the University’s largest lecture theatre and has become a hub for conferences and community events. It’s also the home of the community bookshop, a modern coffee bar, social learning and study spaces for students and an academic library.
The shortlisted schemes were all visited by a panel of expert judges made up of architects, designers and AVDC members. The selection panel judged each entry on its local distinctiveness, quality of design and construction, fitness for purpose, sustainability, accessibility, attractiveness and innovation.
The judges noted the outstanding finish and exquisite detailing, clever use of roof space, impressive interior details and the overall craftsmanship as being the reasons behind the building receiving multiple awards.
The Vinson Building is open to all students but is particularly used by those on Buckingham’s broad-based Economics course which uniquely offers allied subjects including history, politics and philosophy as part of the programme, and business students, including those on the Business Enterprise course (BBE).
As well as being a focal point for the University and community, the centre solidifies links between the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and the University of Buckingham. The IEA uses the building for conducting research, in addition to its London offices.
Built by Beard Construction and designed by Panter Hudspith Architects, the building was unveiled in November last year and made possible thanks to generous donations from Lord Vinson, former University of Buckingham student Susanne Klatten, and the Buckinghamshire LEP.
Discussing the project Lord Vinson said: “Overwhelmingly the facts pointed to Buckingham as the place to choose if you want to advance entrepreneurialism – manifested, not least, by being the first university to offer two-year courses and its uniquely sound thinking on liberal economics. Both Buckingham and I have been closely associated with the IEA, and I and my Trustees wanted to cement the relationship. As an entrepreneur, I have been exceptionally fortunate in life. I also wanted to foster the qualities that create new businesses, because they are the foundation of the prosperity of any nation.”
The University of Buckingham has strong links with the IEA. Arthur Seldon, the father of current Vice-Chancellor Sir Anthony Seldon, was a joint founder of the IEA, and instrumental in the creation of the University. Sir Anthony Seldon commented: “Our country’s economy, post-Brexit, needs entrepreneurship like never before. Our centre is geared precisely to develop the successful entrepreneurs of the future. We will be turning out graduates who are educated in a wide range of disciplines and who have a ‘can do’ attitude.”