An evening with Theo Paphitis marks the official opening of Solent University's 'The Spark'


Southampton Solent University’s stunning Spark Building designed by Scott Brownrigg hosted the official opening ceremony with guest of honour Theo Paphitis; an honorary graduate and also father to two graduates.

Following networking drinks and a tour of the iconic building, the high profile businessmen referred to the Spark on twitter as “a fantastic building” and commenting “looking good and I've already seen some tech I'd like in my office !”

The formal event held 26th January showcased ‘The perils and pitfalls of stepping out into the working world’ as a theme for the evening; which was marked by a drama performance by the students. The university’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Graham Baldwin, described the multi-million pound Spark as an iconic resource for both the university and the city as a whole. Baldwin commented “We are immensely proud of the fact 70 per cent of our students are the first in their family to go to university.”

The new £33m Spark Building has been conceived as an academic hub and showcase for excellence in learning, teaching, research, innovation and student achievement. In addition to the lead designer role, the practice also provided architecture, interior design and principle designer services.

The ‘game-changing’ design of this 10,000 sq m, BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rated building promotes interdisciplinary activity and collaboration; enabling staff and students to see and share their learning and teaching experiences, knowledge and research.

Scott Brownrigg’s involvement in the project has been from the very beginning, and working with the University we have been instrumental in helping shape the future plans for estate development on the city campus.

The footage below shows the fly-through video of Southampton Solent University and 'the pod'.