Warwick launches £19m cross-department student space

The brand new teaching and learning facility at the University of Warwick is now open to staff and students

The £19m flagship Teaching and Learning Building at the University of Warwick includes two large, state-of-the-art lecture theatres and 14 top quality flexible teaching spaces.  Along with the latest technology to help with teaching, the building also features a state-of- the-art, four-screen video wall in the central atrium.

Academic Vice-President Lawrence Young said: “This has been an exciting project which has involved both staff and students. The main focus has been to support the student experience and to provide a unique opportunity for us to explore innovative approaches to teaching and learning in a purpose built facility.”

This the first building on campus dedicated completely to teaching and learning in all disciplines, with no one department or service owning the building.

One of the lecture theatres will be the largest on campus with 500 seats, and boasts a spectacular glass and timber roof with a huge range of charging point facilities for laptops and other devices. Of the four teaching rooms on the ground floor, three open out into the freshly landscaped area outside the building, providing a unique experience for those studying.

The building was designed by Berman Guedes Stretton , which has received many architectural awards for its higher education projects, who worked with project planners Pick Everard and contractors Willmott Dixon to deliver the stunning landmark building.

In the central atrium is a four-screen video wall which will host a range of art displays, timetables of upcoming activity in the building and live-streams of lectures and other events in the main lecture theatres. There are high-tech features elsewhere in the building, with electronic screens outside each room showing availability and interactive digital boards to help with wayfinding.

Audio visual Technical Advisor Ian Mason said: “The atrium video wall is part of a suite of audio visual technology designed to enhance both the function and appeal of the building.

“For this project, the Learning Spaces & Collaborative Environments team have worked to provide staff and students with a consistent and modern technology experience to help enhance teaching and learning. Touch panel control, visualisers, high capacity WiFi, wireless presentation and Lecture Capture is available in every room, as well as live room availability displayed outside each bookable space.

“This building symbolises Warwick’s commitment to the ongoing development of quality teaching and learning environments and sets a new standard for future developments on campus.”

Mary Courtney, artist in residence at the University (above) has been working closely with Professor Patrick Unwin from the Warwick Chemistry department and other chemists to collate and create chemistry-art or ‘chem-art’. The art features corroding metals, prescription drugs and brain scans at a microscopic level.

Working with technical advisor Ian Mason from the University’s Audio Visual team they have presented research in a way that is both visually appealing and thought provoking in the buildings central atrium. Using the latest in display technology this interdisciplinary collaboration brings the often unseen beauty of the microscopic world to life.

The new Teaching and Learning Building sets the benchmark for future campus developments. In addition to the continual on-going work to enhance facilities around campus, future projects include a £40m project to create new sport and wellness facilities by October 2018 as part of the university’s approach to creating an active campus community.

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