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  • BIRMINGHAM CITY UNIVERSITY WANTED A SPACE THAT WOULD ACT AS BOTH A PRACTICAL SPACE AND A SHOWCASE FOR THE UNIVERSITY. THE SCHEME INVOLVED THE RE-DESIGN OF THE INTERNAL LAYOUTS TO TRANSFORM A DARK AND OVERBEARING SPACE INTO A BRIGHT FREE FLOWING ENVIRONMENT ENCOURAGING COLLABORATIVE LEARNING, WORK PRODUCTIVITY AND A SENSE OF WELLBEING.

  • Millennium Point is home to the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and The Built Environment as well as Birmingham School of Acting. 

    Set over four floors, the scheme involved the re-design of the internal layout to provide a better flow between each of the areas, in turn providing space for the design, making and manufacturing processes taking place in Millennium Point.

    The inadequate layout was revised to allow for a workshop observation deck, breakout space, and design and experimental labs, all of which were not previously a part of the space.

    The workshop, design and experimental labs both look onto a prominent walkway which sees a lot of footfall for people visiting Millennium Point, these spaces now act as a ‘shop front’ for the University. The labs allow students to develop their work in both an individual and group format. Previously this work had to inconveniently be completed in the library which meant students were limited to completing written and practical work tasks separately.

    The observation deck provides a much-needed teaching space, allowing lecturers to give a visual representation of what is being discussed in the lesson. It also acts as a perfect showcase for open days and events held at the University.


  • The breakout space includes interactive collaborative seating and private meeting booths for 1-2-1 tutorials or meetings. This also gives students space where they can remain in workshop gear and have a brief breakaway. This space has been designed to feel different to all of the lab spaces. Dark green tones, timber features and nature inspired wall graphics allow students to feel they have really ‘broken’ away from the work spaces. This change in scenery aids in a reduction in stress, and helps boots work flow.

    The upper floors of the building have been updated and converted into spaces that suit the needs of all users. Two teaching spaces have been converted into one large development lab. Designed like an office with computer desks, collaborative/breakout seating and an open meeting area, this allows postgraduate students to work in a space that feels like a workplace environment, making the transition from education to work life easier.
     
    An overhaul of further student spaces was completed by updating all finishes and furniture and adding a new makers lab. This open lab space allows students to experiment and develop work/ideas without the need for timetabling. 

    Overall the scheme has redeveloped a dark and overbearing space with a cluttered maze-like feel, to become a more convenient bright environment with a focus on the wellbeing of the end user.

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ROBERT HOPKINS

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