University of Strathclyde Learning and Teaching Project
The University of Strathclyde
A new Learning and Teaching Building for the University of Strathclyde City Centre Campus. This 20,000sqm project strips out and refurbishes two existing buildings, the Colville Building and the B-listed Architecture Building, and also creates a new-build hub in between overlooking the University’s Rottenrow Gardens.
This non-departmental facility comprises a variety of learning and teaching environments, ranging from small breakout to a 400 seat lecture theatre and also houses Student Support Services and the Student Union to provide staff and students with a one stop central facility.
The University of Strathclyde were lacking large capacity teaching spaces, social learning spaces and an identifiable home for Student Services. There was a need for these facilities to further enhance the Student Experience whilst also taking the opportunity to consolidate building stock, increase utilisation and address backlog maintenance.
A site options appraisal was undertaken and the preferred option being the adaptive re-use of the existing Colville (which historically housed the Engineering Department) and Architecture Buildings. These buildings sat prominently in the centre of the Campus adjacent to Rottenrow Gardens and their potential was exciting, however they were under-utilised and requiring maintenance and upgrading to make them fit for purpose learning and teaching spaces.
The Colville Building was stripped back to the structural frame with large volume spaces being created and the history of the structure exposed and celebrated. The Architecture Building underwent a sympathetic upgrade retaining the original listed character.
The decision to transform the existing buildings rather than a new-build project has clear sustainable benefits - embodied energy is reduced through the adaptive re-use of the existing building structure.
The scheme contributes positively to Campus Life. Having previously been an imposing and closed building form the refurbishment of the Colville Building is now a vibrant ‘window over the university’ showcasing Student Life and, along with the adjacent Rottenrow Gardens, providing a home for the University of Strathclyde community at the heart of the Campus, demonstrating the University of Strathclyde’s commitment to the enhancement of the Student Experience.
The Learning and Teaching Project is an excellent example of the adaptive re-use of existing post war Education buildings and institutions across the UK have multitude examples of similar buildings on their Estates. This is a typology which arguably has been undervalued when compared to more historic buildings and this project demonstrates a viable, academically exciting, and sustainable future for this flexible building typology.