Southampton Solent University teaching and conference building given the go-ahead


Scott Brownrigg’s design for Southampton Solent University’s new teaching and conference building has been given the go ahead by Southampton City Council.  The £30 million redevelopment of the University’s city centre campus on East Park Terrace was unanimously approved by the City Council’s Planning and Rights of Way Panel and formal permission is set to follow shortly, after which work will begin. 

The design incorporates a stunning atrium, which will form the central hub of the new teaching and conference facilities. Measuring 18 metres across and 80 metres long, it will include a distinctive multifunctional suspended ‘pod’ with a viewing platform above.  As well as providing a strong sense of arrival, the full height atrium is fundamental to the circulation strategy for the building which will be used by many of the University’s students each day; five-storeys of lecture and seminar rooms will be located around it, accessed via a series of bridge walkways. The atrium will also provide social and flexible space and open galleries for exhibitions, shows and events. The new facilities will incorporate state-of-the-art lighting, acoustics and equipment and a number of amphitheatre style lecture theatres will be incorporated beneath the atrium.

The new teaching building is one of the seven ‘Very Important Projects’ identified in the Southampton City Centre Masterplan.

Southampton Solent University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Van Gore said: “Getting approval to start work on this exciting new development is great news for our students, staff and the city.  The new teaching building will transform the student experience, creating vibrant social spaces that encourage inter-disciplinary learning, collaboration and enterprise. It will also increase interaction with the business community by offering spaces that can be used for conferences and public events.”

Southampton Solent University’s Director of Estates and Facilities said:  "Working with a wide range of stakeholders, including the Project Steering Group, Academics, and Estates and  Facilities team, Scott Brownrigg has been instrumental in influencing the University's future plans for the redevelopment of our 1960's city campus.  The striking design for the new teaching building creates a new focal point for students and staff, and provides a tremendous multi- purpose space, whilst the conceptual masterplan provides a framework for future phases that brings a renewed purpose and greatly improved connectivity to the existing estate."

Scott Brownrigg Project Director Ian Pratt said:  “This is a major achievement for the University and the Practice.  We are thrilled that the development has been given the go ahead and delighted that our designs proposals have been so well received by university stakeholders and the City Council."

Enabling work has started on site and the new building will complete in 2015.