Designed for social learning
The three-storey building, of approximately 4,000 square metres, will meet a critical need for a range of quiet study, social and peer learning spaces on this part of campus. The style of space and furnishings will create a comfortable, creative and flexible environment which meets the varied study and working needs of students, and supports their success. Such facilities are important for all our students, but for those from disadvantaged backgrounds they are particularly critical, providing an academic 'home' with essential learning resources and social facilities to hand.
The Student Hub Building will also incorporate several innovative teaching spaces, designed for a mix of instruction, group learning and interaction. Such flexible spaces are ideally designed for the popular enterprise and innovation modules, which are led by the Business School but studied by students across all subject areas. These versatile spaces can also be used, outside of core teaching hours, for a range of co-curricular events, talks and networking sessions – including activities for scholarship students, visiting speakers, educational outreach and summer schools. The design of the building will accordingly be considered for early opening and very late closure times.
Transitional indoor/outdoor functional spaces should also be considered that add a further dimension for the student experience and to enhance the relationship between the building and its landscape.
The landscaping design should symbiotically work with the building architecture to establish a destination in Western Campus and help create outdoor spaces which draw people in its own right. There is great opportunity designing in the beautiful setting, rich in history.
The design should respect the existing perimeter buildings and look to segregate servicing discretely from pedestrian areas, avoiding 'cross-overs' as far as possible. The existing perimeter road system will remain in place (the Landscaping element therefore to be within this 'boundary'). It is important that the function of the landscaping also serves the general public as an accessible greenspace- this is a planning consideration (the LCC Development plan can be found at: leeds.gov.uk/planning/planning-policy
Accessibility is extremely important and the ethos should follow a 'ramp before steps' approach, where possible. Designers should carefully consider how good seating design can influence social interaction.
The overall concept, both internally and externally, will create a place which has been designed to enable use by as many people as possible, regardless of their physical ability or background.