Published on 27/01/2021

Aston University New Building - Heart of the Campus

Aston University is embarking on its most significant and impactful Masterplan for over 10 years. The aim is to radically adapt, change and develop the University Campus, future proofing it for generations to come. The next step in this strategy is the development of a centrally located New Building. This will provide specialist high-quality teaching spaces and offer facilities for use by all students, staff and the wider community.

It will form part of a crucial development to deliver the next phase of the University Campus Masterplan.

Overview

Aston University is preparing to submit a planning application for a New University Building and associated public realm which will be the first step in delivering the next phase of the University’s Masterplan, providing enhanced facilities, improvements to public spaces and creating a welcoming heart to the University.

The proposed ground floor will be fully open to the public and is designed to be accessible for all. A spacious new museum style cafe will be located at ground level and will provide spaces to relax, socialise and enjoy both internally and within the new landscaped setting.

This new landmark building will create an important new facility for our students, staff and the local community to come together, learn, study, share ideas and relax. It will enhance existing facilities and support student and staff wellbeing whilst being a significant resource to the local area. The building will incorporate world class teaching and learning facilities, a large lecture theatre and new inspirational study spaces for use by the whole university, to support staff and student wellbeing.

New Building - the heart of the campus

 

Aston University new building interior

Location

The New Building will be located in the heart of the Aston University Campus and will act as a new destination to draw people to this vibrant City Quarter. The location of the new building will utilise new and existing transport connections in order to re-integrate into the surrounding urban fabric. The proposed location of the New Building was chosen following a comprehensive site appraisal process and will support and maximise opportunities to encourage sustainable transport choices.

The existing Tipping Triangles sculpture which currently occupies the site will be sensitively preserved and refurbished as part of the works. It is proposed that the sculpture will be relocated within the University campus; breathing a new lease of life into this local landmark.

Design

The New Building was designed with a focus on both Civic and Landmark principles. The primary Civic purpose of the building is in the bringing of people together. The design has continually considered how the architecture and design of the New Building can improve quality of life, foster equality and social cohesion. The public arcade running through the ground floor articulates how the New Building will be open and accessible not just to University students and staff but also to the public.

As a new landmark for the campus the design of the New Building has been guided and formed by its surroundings and developed in accordance with its position at the heart of the University Campus.

Natural and raw materials such as timber are proposed for the internal spaces within the building to aid wellbeing and promote a calm environment for all to enjoy. Bold colonnades to the base of the building reference other public buildings in the city and emphasise its role as a civic landmark.

Outdoor terraces are proposed to the building facade which sit alongside the new curated landscaping to develop the existing green space and enhance wellbeing.

The building complies with environmental regulations and proposes ecological mitigation and enhancement as part of the design.

Aston new building maps

temp

Pavilion form creates a focus for the heart of the campus. The plinth responds to the civic function of the building.

temp

Historical public routes are reinstated through the site within the ground floor public arcade.

temp

Accessible terraces curate views to the city and create connections to the public realm

Function

Functions at ground floor are focused towards the public nature of the building. They comprise a museum style public café with associated social seating and relaxation spaces. A large capacity tiered lecture theatre is located at one end of the central ‘public arcade’. This space incorporates a feature ‘performance stair’ which will offer a flexible area for social interaction. The stair will also double as an auditorium for evening lectures and presentations that are open to all.

Mid-level floors are occupied by flexible student and social study areas for seminars whilst the upper floors are dedicated to university staff and workspaces.

Around the multi floor atrium, forming the primary circulation, are open, flexible spaces for social learning with direct access onto external terraces to aid wellbeing, natural ventilation and bring daylight deep into the plan of the building.

How to Get Involved

If you have any questions or comments in relation to the proposals you can contact us at astonuninewbuilding@cbre.com

The consultation period will run from 25th January to 12th February. Following which a full planning application will be submitted to Birmingham City Council.

Aston University new building floor plan

Aston University new building interior concepts

Hawkins\Brown and associative brands