University of Reading unveils future plans for new School of Architecture
Release Date 16 June 2015
The University of Reading has revealed exciting plans for the home of its new School of Architecture.
A significant investment from the University will see the refurbishment of the existing home of the School of Construction Management and Engineering (also known as the ‘Lego building') on Whiteknights campus.
Students will experience state-of-the art teaching, research and learning facilities. The building will be predominantly open-plan, with a variety of modern collaborative working spaces, providing a creative hub for innovative thinking. The re-imagined structure will also reflect the University's commitment to sustainable design.
Construction will begin in January 2017, with completion scheduled for December 2018, subject to final confirmation from the University Council and planning permission from the relevant local authorities.
Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, said: "This investment into our new School of Architecture demonstrates our commitment to creating a world-class teaching and learning facility for our students. Our award-winning ‘Lego' building was built in the 1970s to be a home for the Faculty of Urban and Regional Studies. Its transformation will ensure the University produces architects and designers of the highest calibre."
Professor Lorraine Farrelly, Foundation Professor in Architecture at the University of Reading said: "We're excited to reveal these plans for the new School of Architecture. The refurbished building will give a new generation of students a stimulating learning environment. New spaces will provide opportunities for collaborative learning, as well as modern studios and interactive workshop facilities. In addition, the creation of new exhibition and gallery areas will allow students to showcase their work to the university community and the town of Reading."
Award-winning architecture firm Hawkins\Brown has been appointed to carry out the work following an extensive tender process. Proposed concepts were submitted as part of the tender process but final plans are yet to be decided.
Professor Farrelly added: "The refurbishment of this well-known building on campus is a unique opportunity. While modernising the building is key to this project, it is important to respect the original design. Hawkins\Brown has designed educational facilities across the UK, with innovative solutions for teaching and learning spaces. Our students will have an environment and experience that is second to none."
Adam Cossey, Associate at Hawkins\Brown and former University of Reading student said: "This is an exciting project and an opportunity to redesign this building working with the existing structure, not against it. The other challenge is to create a building that works for each of the four different academic disciplines to be housed there. Each department must have its own unique identity, but equally the brief was to create a ‘hub' for these creative disciplines to come together, allowing students to get a cross-disciplinary experience."
The University is welcoming the first cohort of architecture students in September 2016. They will initially be based at the historic London Road campus. Existing buildings will be converted into workshop and studio spaces later this year.
The University is offering a £3,000 a year scholarship to the first cohort of architecture students starting in September 2016.
Further information about the School of Architecture can be found here.