Phase one of the Stride Treglown designed Student Precinct at the heart of Swansea University’s main Singleton Campus has been granted planning permission.
The £30m scheme will replace the existing Digital Technium with a new 8,250 m2 multifunctional Student Centre. This will be linked to the adjacent Grade 2-listed Fulton House, which will also be refurbished, to form the core of the new Student Precinct. Designs to resolve the surrounding streetscape and rationalise access routes across the campus are also included.
Responding to changes in student expectation, teaching methods and campus life, the Precinct’s primary function is to enhance the student experience both educationally and socially. It’s aim is to help attract more students to the University, while improving student satisfaction in an extremely competitive market.
The scheme co-locates the student union, student welfare services, shops and cafes that are currently distributed across the site around a single generous 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, digitally enabled 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 and services functions and links seamlessly through to Fulton House. Three further storeys all overlook the concourse and house a wide variety of complementary functions.
Construction is programmed to start in Sept 2018, with demolition in March, and completion projected to coincide with Swansea University’s Centenary in the summer of 2020.