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Birmingham School of Architecture, Birmingham Institute of Art & Design

Client: Birmingham City University
Status: Completed September 2005


Despite a very tight design period and an even tighter construction programme, we were able to completely transform the whole floor from a dated 1960s interior to one fit for a contemporary design school.

The School includes studio spaces, crit rooms, exhibition space, seminar rooms, staff and research offices, and a feature breakout 'hub' space. This hub area acts as an informal studio space for tutorials, seminars, independent student working, and social events with a 15 metre long bending, folding bench which houses student lockers beneath a continuous oak worktop. The 'seminar bar' at the highest point acts as a tutorial point. Elsewhere, glass fronted spaces encourage interaction and the ceiling system is designed to suspend exhibition panels for maximum flexibility. The orange brand draws reference to the orange moving crates which staff used to move from their previous base in Perry Barr.

key points

  • orange perspex fins define laptop work stations
  • contemporary furniture reflects the overall aesthetics of the spaces
  • 1000m2 (10,763 sq ft) of higher education accommodation
  • mix of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching spaces
    breakout 'hub' space, birmingham school of architecture, birmingham institute of art & design

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