Mace has been appointed by the UCL to deliver its new Student Centre at the Bloomsbury campus. The centre will be dedicated to facilitating student needs; providing 1,000 study spaces for varying kinds of activities, as well as a café, exhibition space and Student Enquiries Centre. The new UCL centre will be opened at the start of 2018.
University College London (UCL) was established in 1826 and is part of the prestigious Russell Group. The university has approximately 36,000 students across a wide range of disciplines, including 4,859 FTE of Academic and research staff. In 2011, the ‘Masterplan’ was released which sets out the broad vision for the future of UCL, with as primary aim to cement the university’s global reputation and making it “the most exciting university in the world to study and work.” Part of this plan is the development of a new Student Centre, which aims to improve the student experience and upgrade the university’s student facilities and learning spaces.
The new building, designed by Nicholas Hare Architects, will provide 1,000 study spaces for students, a café and exhibition space, as well as a Student Enquiries Centre. The new learning spaces will cater to a wide range of individual and group study habits, providing spaces that vary in character and size. “This last undeveloped brownfield site in the heart of Bloomsbury will be transformed into a centre for student learning for the benefit of students and the wider public. The new building will showcase quality architecture and our commitment to improving the public realm across our campus,” explains Andrew Grainger, Director of UCL Estates. “The New Student Centre is a flagship development within our estate transformation programme, which exemplifies UCL’s commitment to be good custodians of this fine heritage estate in central London.”
To deliver the centre, UCL appointed consulting firm Mace. “We’re delighted to have been appointed to deliver a building that will have a really positive impact on thousands of students for generations to come,” comments Terry Spraggett, Mace Business Unit Director for the Public Sector. “The project plays to our strengths of working within constrained sites and using innovative methods of construction to mitigate the impact of our work on the surrounding community.”
The arrangement with Mace will see the company attendant to the needs of students around the construction process, creating space for them to move easily through the heart of the campus, as well as propose a number of initiatives to minimise noise during the process – especially planning work around the exam period. A community engagement scheme will be implemented to provide an avenue for stakeholders to liaise with the firm throughout the construction process. Work will commence summer 2016 and is expected to be completed by the start of the 2018 academic year.