The Learning Hub at the University of Northampton’s new Waterside Campus has scooped a prestigious architectural award, at last night’s Royal Society of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Awards.
The Learning Hub won the coveted Design through Innovation Award, celebrating the buildings focus on the learning experience for Learning Hub users. The Learning Hub is a ‘fusion facility’, which is open 24 hours/day – housing the library, teaching areas, specialists’ skills spaces, student administration, academic workspaces, a café and a restaurant, blending the University’s re-think about teaching, learning, working and social spaces for students and staff.
RICS judges commended the project team “for providing an insight into the standards that can be achieved in a nonspecific academic building that creates an engaging and supportive environment for all users. By embracing innovative approaches, the bi product seems to be that the traditional elements have also moved forward embracing the strategies that promote this building and the university.”
Jane Bunce, Director of Student and Academic Services, and Waterside Project Manager, said: “The Learning Hub has been designed to put student experience at the forefront of the design. As our students and staff use the building, the Learning Hub has the ability to evolve to continue to meet their needs through our flexible and open plan design choices.
“I’m delighted that the RICS have recognised the way the learning hub blends excellent design from architectural team, alongside the way the academics and professional services teams within the University are able to use the space for their work.”
After seeing-off competition from five other developments in the East Midlands regional competition, the Learning Hub, will now be considered for National Award in recognition of its architectural excellence, the results of which will be announced in October.