West Downs Teaching & Learning Centre

The Brief

The University of Winchester wanted to create a new landmark building to be home to their digital technologies and business management faculties on existing green space within their campus. The building includes a five storey linear teaching block fronted on one side by a 2 storey pavilion covered by triangular oversailing zinc roof forms and on the opposite side by a rotunda. The pavilion provides social learning, art gallery, catering and library spaces and the rotunda houses a 250 seat auditorium.

In keeping with the core values of the University, the building is designed to support mental health and well-being, a central water garden, gallery, vegan cafe, and Contemplation Space are all designed to focus on supporting staff and students.


University of Winchester




Design Engine


82,000 ft²


  • Education


  • Cost Consultancy

The Challenge

A key challenge to the project was finalising the contract sum through the second stage procurement process. A Cost Plan and package split methodology had been agreed with the Contractor, however individual work packages were consistently being returned over the Cost Plan allowance. Our cost data resources and market research was unable to reconcile the value of work package tender returns with our estimates. Our commercial team undertook a forensic review of the package tender information. The resulting recommendation to the Client was to commission new measured tender documents for tendering. This strategy did add time to the programme but the re-pricing exercise saw the Contract Sum agreed within budget.

The Outcome

The completed development provides state-of-the-art facilities which meet the changing demands of higher education. The envelope utilises a pallet of mixed materials including local flint, brick and curtain walling with contemporary detailing, while the curved auditorium facade is clad in weathered steel fins.

The building was among the first university projects to be registered for WELL Certification within the UK and won a Gold WAN Award (Education Category), Landscape Institute Award, Civic Trust Award and RIBA South Award in 2022. It is currently a 2022 finalist for the AJ Architecture Awards. West Downs is the fourth major project Jackson Coles have carried out for the University of Winchester.

Cor-ten weathering steel used
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In the auditorium
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Size of the library
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"The team at Jackson Coles undertook cost management for the University of Winchester on their West Downs Development. The project was a mixed-use educational building including teaching spaces and library and the most significant build in the University’s history. We were impressed with the level of detail and tenacity of the Jackson Coles team and professional dealings with all concerned. We would have no hesitation in recommending them to others".
Mark Butt
Head of Capital Estates Programme, University of Winchester

Other Projects We’ve Completed Include

ArtsEd Schools

Francis Holland School – Centre for Creative Learning

Berkhamsted School – Various Projects