Monday, 18 April 2016

Spring Lane Building update - April 2016

It has been a while since our last update, but we have lots to report!

The Learning Spaces Working Group has been meeting regularly to firm up lots of design issues, including:

  • Colour scheme of the building and finishes - we’re opting for neutral and natural, introducing autumnal colour via the furniture scheme and to define each level of the building
  • Ensuring adequate power provision in each seminar room (sockets across two walls), the lecture theatre (one socket between two seats) and around the building in the informal spaces
  • Choosing suitable floor coverings - carpet swatches galore!
  • Preventing disturbance to the seminar rooms by relocating hand dryers in the toilets to adjacent walls
  • Acoustic ‘baffle’ design (these stop the building from echoing on the various levels)
  • Lots of Audio Visual Technology input for each type of learning spaces (keep an eye out for a future post on procurement)
  • Recommending to the steering group we allocate three ‘experimental’ learning spaces on the top floor of the building (adjacent to the informal study/library space) to support the next generation of delivery
  • Defining the brief for the furniture procurement exercise (there is lots of it, so just like the technology we invite competitive tenders to achieve best value for money for the University)
  • Defining which rooms will have full blackout (1/3rd of them), and agreeing internal blinds/viewing panels on doors and windows - allowing good visibility of the vibrancy of the building, but also supporting classes that need a blackout for their function
  • Agreeing dual projection for the lecture theatre, the sizing of the screens and to introduce our first ‘writing surface’ capture (rather than big boards at the front which may be hard to see from the back)
  • Discussing the relocation of a sculpture by Barbara Hepworth to the street level of the building (more on this in a future blog post)

We’re putting the building’s look, feel and function at the heart of every decision that we make, and learning from what works well (or doesn’t) on campus to achieve the best possible outcome for the staff and students.

There's lots to see from the outside of the building - the brickwork is looking great and the full glazed walls down the side of the building are being hung - and things are really starting to take shape inside too:

The glass roof is in place, and floods the building with lots of natural light
The lecture theatre (housed in the brick-clad portion of the building)

A 'social learning area' with a view!

A sneak peek at the impressive views above the tree tops

As always, we’d love to hear your comments and feedback. You can reach us on  

Matt Burton Chair, Learning Spaces Working Group

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