Warwick Conferences has announced that The University of Warwick’s new £19m teaching and learning building The Oculus, which was officially opened by Her Royal Highness Princess Anne, is now open for academic and conference events.
The Oculus was developed as part of the University of Warwick’s commitment to enhancing the student experience by creating its first stand-alone dedicated teaching facility. It has been designed to be an integral part of university life and landscape, as well as supporting the application of advancing technologies enabling world-class academic activity. The name of the building reflects these objectives and symbolises the next phase of the University’s built form. It highlights the ‘vision’ for the future of teaching and learning at Warwick as an interactive, empowering and transformative experience.
The Oculus, which is now open and in full use by the University’s community, will also be available outside of term time and will have a particular focus on hosting academic conferences, training sessions, meetings and workshops, as well as other non-academic events.
The new building on the central campus offers two large state-of-the-art lecture theatres with capacity for 500 and 250 delegates respectively, 12 flexible teaching spaces, innovative social learning and networking spaces, as well as a café area.
With 500 seats, one of the lecture theatres is the largest on campus and features a spectacular timber roof and excellent charging point facilities. Advanced audio technology has also been installed in the space to enhance the meeting experience. High tech features run throughout The Oculus – in the central atrium there is a four-screen video wall, which can display art and timetables, as well as live-streams of events in the main lecture theatres. Some of the ground floor teaching rooms provide users with fantastic views over the landscaped area outside of the building.
Rachael Bartlett, Head of Sales and Marketing at Warwick Conferences, says: “The Oculus is not only a fantastic addition to the University of Warwick campus, from which students will greatly benefit, but it is also a great space that will further enhance our offering to academic users and external event holders. Available outside of term time, the building features a range of spaces that can accommodate anything from a high-tech conference for 500, to training sessions and smaller meetings in the informal social learning and networking spaces.
Across its five top-quality venues, Warwick Conferences welcomes over 177,000 delegates per year and 100% of the net income is reinvested into the university to continue to provide world class teaching and research.