The 17,000m2 new Social Sciences building is designed to meet the future growth demands of the Faculty up to the year 2035, creating a world class, low energy sustainable building that encourages collaboration and enhances the Faculty’s reputation for excellence in teaching and research.

Design Approach

In a competitive global educational marketplace Universities need to provide world-class facilities to attract the best students. The social sciences hub reflects a growing trend for centralising teaching spaces to enhance space utilisation and looking at collaborative working practices.

The scheme sits at the heart of a new social sciences mini campus providing bespoke accommodation for the departments of sociological studies, economics and politics alongside shared facilities for the whole faculty including a collaborative research hub.

Close engagement with the multiple stakeholders created forward looking, flexible learning environments that supports student’s mental health and wellbeing. The design embraces the idea that ‘every learning space should be active’ and includes shallow raked large volume active learning spaces that support both traditional and active learning alongside technology rich group working areas and individual study areas.
The BREEAM Outstanding design considers both economic and social sustainability and is a positive contributor to the local environment includes a neighbourhood pocket park and flexible facilities that can be used by both students and local residents.

The building form is a series of overlapping organic curved floor plates that ebb and flow hinting at the site’s history as an old reservoir while the façade of staggered glass planes reflects the world around and the multifaceted nature of the social sciences.

"Stakeholder engagement was critical in capturing the specific requirements of all end users and those who would be maintaining the building. …A World Class building is required for staff, researchers and students to work in a collaborative, open environment that has no standard to follow….HLM have been at the forefront of all stakeholder liaison."

Dave Holland, project manager