04 MAR 2021


The impressive Atkins-designed Bournemouth Gateway Building, the new home for Bournemouth University’s Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, has opened. The new building will play a pivotal role in the university’s future development, especially in the field of healthcare, medical sciences, social care and social sciences.

The building was designed using Atkins’ Human Centred Design tool, which won the 2018 AJ technology award. This saw the design process start with a detailed survey of staff and students to get an in-depth understanding of their priorities for a range of design attributes that impact on health and well-being. 

Atkins’ architects used this data to ensure that every aspect of the design, from its overall form down to the specification of materials, supported the creation of a healthy environment that enables occupants to work and study more effectively.

Helen Groves, architecture director at Atkins, said: “With Bournemouth Gateway, our aim was to design a building that responded to the university’s vision to provide environments that inspire collaborative learning, research and enterprise. Our design brings this vision to life by incorporating formal teaching spaces alongside areas for practical skills, general teaching and informal learning, as well as a small research facility and shared learning resource centre.”

Groves continued: “We spoke intensively with stakeholders to understand their priorities in terms of health and well-being and incorporated their preferences into our design. For example, natural light was highlighted as a well-being factor, but access to an external view was considered more important. The fan shaped building form with stepped roof profile responded directly to this, allowing a greater wall to floor ratio, with access to an increased amount of glazing on each floor.”

Bournemouth Gateway Building is part of a portfolio of projects Atkins is working on for Bournemouth University, all designed to improve staff and student experience.

Tim Mclntyre-Bhatty, deputy vice-chancellor at Bournemouth University, said: “Using Atkins’ Human-Centred Design solution has taken us away from the basic dialogue we often have with staff around closed and open spaces. Instead we’re having a more mature dialogue around mixed use, flexible spaces for different purposes. Because of this, we’ve ended up with a building that provides flexible, holistic environments for the different types of work that people do at different times of the day.”

The project is part of Atkins’ growing higher education portfolio which includes University of Glasgow’s Institute of Health and Wellbeing and Walter Bower House at the University of St Andrews.


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