Phase one of our new Student Precinct at Swansea University has been granted planning permission.
The £30m scheme will replace the existing Digital Technium building and will be linked to the adjacent Grade II listed Fulton House, which will also be refurbished. Together, they will form the core of the new Student Precinct. Designs to resolve the surrounding streetscape and provide new access routes across the campus are also included.
The Precinct’s primary function is to enhance the student experience both educationally and socially. Its aim is to attract more students to the University, while improving student satisfaction in an extremely competitive market.
It co-locates the student union, student welfare services, shops and cafes that are currently distributed across the site around a single multi-purpose concourse. In so doing it will attract a critical mass of users to the heart of the campus, establishing a world class, vibrant student hub. The scheme also incorporates a mix of cutting-edge, digital learning environments and teaching spaces, media support facilities, music rehearsal rooms and a small performance space.
The architectural response heals the stylistic gulf between neighbouring buildings. Strong horizontal bands on the new three-storey building reconcile differences in scale and height, while a bold canopy over the entrance cleverly echoes the jaunty angles of the Taliesin Arts Centre next door.
The inside is dominated by a central, full-height, top-lit asymmetrical concourse that contains retail units and links seamlessly through to Fulton House. Three further storeys all overlook the concourse and house a variety of complementary functions.
Construction is programmed to start in September 2018, with demolition in March. Completion is projected to coincide with Swansea University’s Centenary in the summer of 2020.