New teaching building at Southampton Solent University submitted for planning


Scott Brownrigg’s design for a new 9,250 sq m (99,600 sq ft) 5-storey teaching building at Southampton Solent University has been submitted for planning. The practice has developed a new campus masterplan together with a vision, brief and design proposals for the new building, which were developed in close consultation with a wide range of university stakeholder focus groups.

Working closely with the University’s timetabling team and resource management consultant, space needs analysis was also undertaken and the proposed space standards and schedule of accommodation for the project developed.

Targeting a BREEAM “Excellent” rating, the architectural design concept groups the formal teaching spaces in a simple rectilinear form, positioned opposite the Millais Building, it creates a large and exciting atrium space. The atrium unites the new and the existing, and is conceived as a major new semi-public, gathering and informal / social learning area, as well as a major circulation space which will be used extensively  used daily as well as during major University events.

The concept also utilises the topography of the site, and responds to the spaces within, as well as the urban environment beyond.

The new teaching building will redefine Southampton Solent University and will be a striking addition to the street-scene.  It will also herald the wider regeneration of the City Centre and will help to heal the physical division between the central and eastern areas.

The building is conceived as an academic hub and a showcase that will promote interdisciplinary activity and collaboration and will enable staff and students to see and share information and their learning experiences. The ‘mixed economy’ of teaching accommodation is arranged over five storeys around an impressive, full height atrium space. The seminar rooms / classrooms are located to the north of the atrium and the large lecture rooms are located to the east.  Utilising the topography of the site, the two large destination lecture theatres are located below the main atrium space.  This in turn governs the location and size of the atrium.

The atrium imparts a strong sense of arrival, is a major new destination space for the University and is a fundamental part of the circulation strategy for the building.  It is also fundamental to the ventilation and temperature control strategy for the building. The dramatic and engaging character of the atrium is reinforced by the distinctive pod form, the amphitheatre arrangement, the open galleries, bridge walkways and sunlight entering via the translucent roof.

The main entrance elevation addresses East Park and is predominantly glazed revealing activity within the atrium. This provides a strong active frontage to East Park Terrace and East Park. During the evening, light will emanate from the atrium out across the Park.

The sloping atrium roof unites the new teaching element with the Millais Building and anticipates the arrival of the new foyer building.

 The scheme is due to complete in September 2015.