The University of Birmingham’s new Teaching and Learning Building officially opened on 29 January with a series of talks held throughout the day, including a presentation by project director Svetlana Solomonova Making the Teaching and Learning Building.
The project creates a distinct learning environment at the heart of the university’s Edgbaston campus and is part of its continued investment to improve the quality of the student experience. It provides new teaching spaces to facilitate the growth in student numbers and, promotes progressive learning techniques via both formal and informal learning, teaching, and study environments, designed to encourage interaction between students and staff.
A range of teaching spaces are clustered around two new lecture theatres, with an array of smaller seminar and self-directed learning spaces wrapped around to encourage students to use the building beyond the formal timetable, and accommodate students on part-time and professional development courses. The user experience was central to our design approach with the two lecture theatres located at the heart of the building for ease of access and simple wayfinding. The theatres are enclosed within an exciting conical space called ‘the crystal’ which rises through the building and projects externally drawing references with adjacent historic buildings.
The different levels are connected via Roman steps which give the building transparency and facilitate movement through the building as well as highlight its openness and accessibility.
BDP was architect, engineer, landscape architect, acoustic consultant, lighting designer and sustainability consultant for the £24m building which completed in December 2019.