University of Exeter

Cornwall House, Senate Chamber and the Old Library

Cornwall House is the existing Students’ Union building (Student Guild) on the University of Exeter’s Streatham Campus. Constructed in the late 1960’s, it was identified as being the worst thermally performing building within the University’s portfolio and so the priority was to drastically improve this. The project construction value was in the order of £1.4M and entailed improvement of the building’s thermal and operational usage by way of M&E reconfiguration and architectural overcladding of both the existing façades and roof.

Morgan Sindall was appointed to construct the main project, along with additional internal reconfiguration and refurbishment works to house the university’s music department and guild management offices. The project was completed over the seminar recess and was fully operational for the new term in 2013.

Also on campus, our Interiors Team worked closely with the University of Exeter and Project Manager to complete the detailed design for the Senate Chamber refurbishment. The original space dates back to the 1950’s and the client was very keen to create a high calibre meeting room facility, fit for the Council of a leading international university. The finished result was a clean and contemporary environment. In addition to the Senate and Council Chamber, the team re-designed the committee rooms, catering and toilet facilities, the link area to the Vice Chancellor’s offices and the entrance foyer.

Following the Senate Chamber refurbishment, we provided a concept design for the Old Library, also a building from the early 1960’s and again located within the University’s Streatham Campus. The main lobby space had some notable architectural features such as a large lantern skylight which flooded natural daylight into the building, penetrating two floors to a museum space below.

Our design brief was to refresh the lobby space and associated offices, corridors, seminar rooms, WCs and other facilities. The approach was to renew and lighten the wall finishes, provide new ceiling and lighting treatments, floor coverings, furniture finishes and blinds and to replace doors and door furniture, cubicles and sanitary ware. Our team successfully worked within a fixed budget delivering the completed project within the summer holiday period as requested.


University of Exeter


Higher Education