CLIENT: University of Westminster - Marylebone Campus
SPACE: Learning environment
ARCHITECTURE/DESIGN GROUP: Rock Townsend
The Marylebone campus set the standard for a new kind of learning environment in the UK when the University of Westminster asked the architects of Rock Townsend to transform it's 1960's building.
Learn, stay, socialise and share
The architects, in collaboration with the client, came up with the Learning Platform concept to respond to the needs of 21st century students. To create a vibrant, modern and flexible learning environment. The concept holds a 1,200m² flexible and fully integrated social learning environment. Combining formal, informal learning and social spaces to encourage collaboration and focus between the students and teachers. To move from a ''learn and go'' culture to that of ''learn, stay, socialise and share''. And uniting the 'Westminster Business School' with the 'School of Architecture and the Built Environment' buildings around this new learning hub.
Campus with a heart
Trevor Wills, director of the estate shares: ''It's been essential to breathe new life into the Marylebone campus and create a better sense of identity. This project does that by creating a real heart to the campus.'' The EarChairs -designed by Jurgen Bey- have been playfully spread around the reception area to create a vibrant welcome and to immediately get into that ''social learning'' mood. These products also aid in orientation and navigation. A simple palette of colours and materials, together with artificial and natural lighting, has been used to differentiate elements and areas within the Social Learning Space.
The Learning Platform
The concept is all about providing a social heart to the campus, encourage community spirit where ideas are shared between students and staff. To boost this mission multiple SitTables -designed by Ben van Berkel, UNStudio- were incorporated as the ultimate designated collaborative area. To support the enclosed atmosphere of the Learning Platform and offer the chance for students to build their professional networks several Niche's -designed by AXIA Design- were added as well, for semi-private interaction.
This article is an adaptation of the Case Study done by Rock Townsend, which you can read in full here.
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