Teaching & Learning Centre, Birkbeck University
The bold and dynamic new 1,807m2 Teaching & Learning Centre sits within a sensitive heritage context on Euston Road. The extension and refurbishment of 1920s Cambridge House will provide much needed teaching space and will showcase Birkbeck to a wider audience, establishing the new Teaching & Learning Centre as a vibrant campus destination for students and staff for this world-class educational institution.
The approved design will create a striking landmark for the University, taking full advantage of its prominent corner location to provide Birkbeck with a keynote building. Clad in copper standing seam, the new massing of the extension is a sculpted geometric design that refreshes and reinvigorates the existing building below and alludes to its 21st century environment within.
Whilst Cambridge House has not been identified as a heritage asset, the site is located amongst listed buildings, conservation areas and a registered park of historic interest. The extension aims to create ‘a beautiful moment’ that addresses both the character of Warren Street and its residential neighbourhood, as well as the dominant scale of Euston Road.
The 6 storey plus basement level will accommodate a café and learning hub for students on the ground floor and basement. High quality teaching and learning spaces fill the upper floors with a large modern lecture theatre informing the sculpted rooftop extension. Existing refurbished floor space of the building amounts to 1,407m2, while the new extension will provide 400m2 of additional space.
Currently pre-assessed to achieve Excellent rating for BREEAM UK New Construction 2014, the sustainability strategy is driven by the London Plan and based on the ‘Be Lean, Be Clean and Be Green’ hierarchy. Photovoltaic panels on the main roof will provide the required 35% reduction of CO2 emissions, and generate on-site electricity.