This groundbreaking project was completed over 20 years ago, and much of the innovative thinking is still relevant today.
When the University of Southampton acquired the 1926 Richard Taunton College for its Faculty of Arts there was considerable local opposition. Careful consultation and good design enabled the University to bring together three different departments onto one sensitive site on the edge of Southampton Common.
The existing building was refurbished for use as teaching accommodation and an extension built to provide 2200m2 of office space. A new glazed quadrangle gave access to lecture theatres, seminar rooms, language centre, library and computer workspaces. The assembly hall was converted to a 200-seat lecture theatre, and the gym transformed to create a focal space in the form of a cafe.
The final result is a stimulating environment with a mix of old and new elements and a generous splash of colour. The project was one of the first in the UK to use ground source heat to temper the lecture theatre.
“The final result is a stimulating new environment, which combines both traditional and modern elements in a bold and self confident fashion.”
Dr Jonathan Sawday, Faculty of Arts, University of Southampton