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View: Grid List
Date
1984
Region
UK
Sector
Residential Workplace
Budget
£5m - £20m
Client
Nationwide Building Society
Location
High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
Beds
64
Contact
Robin Nicholson
Team
Stern & Woodford, S Jampel & Partners, Drake & Skull, Benfield & Loxley
Awards
Civic Trust Award (1986) The Malcolm Dean Design Award (1985)

Originally designed for Nationwide, Uplands Conference Centre was built around the heart of an existing late 19th century house. 

Uplands Conference Centre

On entering through the original, modest front hall, two great stairs rise up on either side of a green carpeted ‘valley’ up round two drums past the doors to the first-floor conference room and onto a bridge back to the break-out rooms in the existing house.

The dining hall and main reception space are both visible from almost every point along the circulation route around the complex. These two major interior spaces form the centrepiece and social melting pot of Conference Centre.

The double-height reception acts like a hotel lobby, with places to lounge, sit or perch – opportunities for casual contact, or easy avoidance of it if preferred. 

Past the drum reception on the ground-floor is the cross-axis through two study bedroom cloistered courts. 

The building responds to the existing landscape and creates a range of new landscaped courts and gardens, designed by Georgina Livingstone, as a seamless part of the expanding composition.

Uplands Conference Centre was listed Grade II in June 2014. The English Heritage Advice Report said: “…In summary, Uplands is a remarkable achievement of integrated architecture and landscape design, as well as an outstanding instance of a significant but overlooked building type… a highly accomplished and representative work by a leading practice, whose ingenious plan, beautifully-detailed elevations and theatrically conceived main interior mark an intelligent response to an older building...”