Fast track teaching facilities for over 2000 students
Bath University has expanded constantly over the last 30 years. Initially this expansion was outward from the centre, capitalising on the open space that surrounds the hilltop campus. Now, certain buildings that were constructed in the heart of the University are now being replaced. The site for this teaching building is the former swimming pool, which was replaced by Olympic standard pools in the Sports Village.
The building, with accommodation for 2200 students, was to be operational in only 19 months. This had major implications on the design and tendering programme, and the speed of construction. In addition to four lecture theatres, two with a capacity of 350 and two for 150, there are 23 traditional medium to large lecture rooms, all with state of the art AV equipment. Two large computer group-working rooms are also included.
Our design was influenced by the need for circulation of the large numbers of students using the building. Generous foyer areas at levels 1 and 2 are connected by four large-capacity lifts and three wide staircases to cater for students entering and leaving the lecture theatres. The building also has a “skywalk” which enters the building at Level 2 over the top of an existing boiler house, to ensure the building is highly accessible from the centre of the campus despite the complexity of the levels and buildings. We submitted the planning application only ten weeks after instruction and building was officially opened by HRH Prince Edward in November 2013 to much critical acclaim.