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Solent’s Spark building has won the Best Student Experience category at the Education Estates Awards.  

2nd November 2017

Solent’s Spark building has won the Best Student Experience category at the Education Estates Awards. 

Designed by award-winning international design practice Scott Brownrigg, the awards recognise excellence in the education built environment and the win reflects the successes that the practice is experiencing in pushing innovation and the student learning experience within the education sector.

The 10,000 sq. m Spark building is a major vehicle for institutional change and has revolutionised the teaching, learning and student experience at the University.

The ‘game-changing’ design for the BREEAM ‘Excellent’ building provides a ‘mixed economy’ of teaching and learning spaces, which promote interdisciplinary activity and collaboration, and enables staff and students to see and share their learning and teaching experiences, knowledge and research.  


Vice-Chancellor of Southampton Solent University Professor Graham Baldwin says: “We are delighted that our Spark building has won the Student Experience Award. Since the Spark opened for teaching in September 2016, thousands of students have benefited from learning in its state-of-the-art classrooms. From a diverse range of backgrounds, these students are united in their pride at being part of a university which is making such a significant investment in their education – singling out the Spark as a point of excellence in course feedback surveys.

“And the building has been having a similar impact at open days, wowing guests when they arrive and helping create a fantastic first impression of Southampton Solent University. The Spark is a physical demonstration of Solent’s commitment to providing an exceptional learning and teaching environment for its students, with parents and prospective students alike commenting positively on the building.

“A popular and impactful addition to the campus, the Spark has enhanced the student experience, contributed to a cutting-edge learning environment, and allowed the University to build on its reputation as an innovative and creative place of study. It has been an exceptional success for Solent and its students, and will continue to show its value for decades to come."

At full capacity, The Spark can accommodate 2,600 people and  the facilities are used by all five of Solent’s schools.

The Spark beat off stiff competition from The Bartlett School of Architecture, Bristol Business School UWE, New Adelphi: University of Salford and Highgate Junior School to clinch the award.