Coventry University is preparing to close its landmark Alan Berry building ahead of its demolition.
It is planned for the building to be replaced with a lawned area 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 centre campus more accessible to the wider community.
It is the latest stage of the redevelopment of the university campus, following the creation of Starley Gardensand the current redevelopment of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities building, both in Cox Street.
The building was completed in 1963 for the Lanchester College of Technology – one of the forerunners to Coventry University – and was originally known as F Block, housing administration and the library. It was later named after Alan Berry, who was the Director and Chief Executive for the West Midlands Engineering Employers’ Association
Alan Berry building has a prominent position on campus overlooking University Square, opposite Coventry Cathedral. Until its closure, it housed the university’s Business Development team, Registry and the Vice-Chancellor’s Office. It will close for good at the end of May and it is anticipated that work to demolish the building will run from June until November of this year.
The development plans focus on forming additional landscaping, promoting the university’s desire to open up vistas within the 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 area is planned to follow the demolition of the Alan Berry building and assist in forming a pathway of quality urban routes through the campus and towards the site of the former Civic Centre buildings on Little Park Street, which is currently on loan from the university to 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 for the university for six decades but it is now time for us to bid it farewell.
“This is another step in our ambition to make our campus as accessible as possible not only to our students and staff, but to the people of Coventry as well.
“The demolition of the Alan Berry building follows the redevelopment of our Faculty of Arts and Humanities facilities, which is currently underway, and the wonderful new Starley Gardens urban space, which opened last year.
“Coventry University has never been an institution that stands still and our programme of work shows commitment to our mission of creating better futures and delivering transformational change for our students, partners and communities.”