Coventry University prepares to bid farewell to historic building
Coventry University is preparing to close its historic Alan Berry Building ahead of its demolition.
There are plans to replace the building with a lawn that will create an open green space stretching from University Square to Cox Street, opening up views of Coventry Cathedral and helping to make the city center campus more accessible to all from the community.
This is the final stage of the redevelopment of the university campus, following the creation of Starley Gardens and the ongoing redevelopment of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities building, both located on Cox Street.
The building was completed in 1963 for Lanchester College of Technology – one of the forerunners of Coventry University – and was originally known as F Block, the housing administration and library. It was then named after Alan Berry, who was director and chief executive of the West Midlands Engineering Employers’ Association.
The Alan Berry Building occupies a prominent position on campus overlooking University Square, opposite Coventry Cathedral. Until its closure, it housed the university’s business development team, the registry, and the vice-chancellor’s office. It will close permanently at the end of May and it is expected that demolition work on the building will take place from June to November this year.
Development plans focus on the formation of additional landscaping, furthering the university’s desire to open up vistas on campus while providing high-quality green spaces. The plans aspire to facilitate an uninterrupted view of Coventry Cathedral from the university’s Arts and Humanities facilities on Cox Street, which are currently being redeveloped.
The open landscaped space is planned to follow the demolition of the Alan Berry Building and help form a pathway of quality urban roads through campus and to the site of the former Civic Center buildings on Little Park Street, which is currently on loan from the university at the City of Culture Trust for the Assembly Festival Gardens.
Coventry University Vice-Chancellor Professor John Latham CBE said: “The Alan Berry Building has been a focal point of the university for six decades, but now is the time for us to say goodbye to it.
“This is another step in our ambition to make our campus as accessible as possible not only to our students and staff, but also to the people of Coventry.
“The demolition of the Alan Berry Building follows the redevelopment of our Faculty of Arts and Humanities facilities, which is currently underway, and the beautiful new urban space Starley Gardens, which opened last year.
“Coventry University has never been a standing institution and our program of work demonstrates our commitment to our mission to create a better future and bring transformational change to our students, partners and communities.”
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