Warwick Business School: ‘A space in keeping with The Shard’s high-end aesthetic’

With its abundance of natural light and breathtaking views, The Shard’s office space isn’t attracting only corporate tenants, but academic ones too.

Taking up residence on the 17th floor of The Shard is Warwick Business School, an institution whose academic excellence has led to the FT ranking it in its list of the top 20 business schools globally. The school’s base at The Shard will provide two lecture theatres of up to 120 in capacity, plus breakout space, a state-of-the-art IT suite and room for staff to work and interact with students. 

“With the help of architects Berman Guedes Stretton, we designed a space in keeping with the high-end aesthetic of The Shard,” says Warwick Business School COO Gareth Bennett. “As a school, we pride ourselves on the quality of the teaching and research that we offer, so we wanted the fit-out to have a premium feel to reflect that.”

“We pride ourselves on the quality of the teaching and research that we offer, so we wanted the fit-out to have a premium feel to reflect that”
Gareth Bennett, WBS COO

The school occupies approximately 60 per cent of the 17th floor, so maximising the space with adaptable fittings was a priority. One example of this is in the IT suite, where bespoke desks swivel to conceal PCs, transforming into multi-functional tabletops. “Flexibility was key,” explains Bennett, “so that our space could be used for the university more broadly, hosting academic conferences or high-profile events, for example.” 

Aesthetically, the interiors were inspired by the history and identity of Warwick Business School. Enter the reception and you’ll see the vibrant blue logo of the school emblazoned above the solid stone and timber desk. “We used natural materials to create something contemporary but with a classic feel to it so that it wouldn’t date,” says Bennett.

The logo also appears on the wall of the long corridor leading to the south lecture theatre, accompanying a stylised image of Shakespeare that both evokes the history of the university’s Warwickshire location and represents the creativity of the school. 

“We really tried to think about how we could be fresh and innovative in providing a teaching experience for our students,” says Professor Mark Taylor, Dean of Warwick Business School. “Consequently, we created a space where digital learning, face-to-face interaction and creativity combine to create a unique educational experience for our students.”