London Metropolitan University, New Teaching and Learning Building
The new Teaching & Learning Building for London Metropolitan University constitutes a key component of the practice’s masterplan which was approved by London Met governors in May 2016; the masterplan will bring the university’s “One Campus, One Community” vision into reality, with a re-imagined Holloway Road campus bringing all of its schools together for the first time in its history.
The project consist of a two-storey roof top extension to an existing 1930s building; this extension increases the density of accommodation which is critical in allowing for the creation of a large new public realm space at the heart of the campus, thereby helping to make the university more accessible for the local community.
Our Design Approach
The design approach taken to the two-storey extension has been to interpret the existing building in a contemporary way. This helps tie the new and old together so you read the completed building as a whole. The approach to the extension also defines an architectural strategy that can be used as further phases of the masterplan are developed. This will help create a greater coherence to the campus as a whole.
The proposal also creates a critical mass of teaching and learning space to generate a new and dynamic environment. Key to this is the relationship of formal and informal teaching and learning space. The close relationship of these spaces allows one environment to support the other. The informal study commons space allows the ‘conversation to continue’ after students have left lectures in the formal teaching spaces. Equally the formal spaces can double as quite or group study spaces when not in use for lectures.
The study commons represents 8% of the total masterplan space budget. It is a major new initiative that reflects the general shift in education towards greater support for independent learning on campus — free-flowing space throughout the campus. In particular the new Teaching & Learning Building will provide visibility, way-finding and a sense of belonging. It will promote social inclusion and identity in an environment that is welcoming, comfortable and safe — an informal, creative, learning environment that entices students to stay on campus well beyond their taught hours.
Our One Campus, One Community project is about creating a university that meets the needs of its time. While there is much more to this than buildings, the designs which are under development reflect the shifting trends in Higher Education today, with more space being dedicated to study commons and facilities designed to encourage collaboration by students and staff across different disciplines.Prof. John Raftery, Vice-Chancellor of London Metropolitan University