Glancy Nicholls Architects are currently appointed onto the redevelopment of the University House scheme for the University of Birmingham, located within the Edgbaston Conservation Area.
The project consists of an extension to the existing business school at the University, which will provide 94 single occupancy academic offices, student welfare facilities and social spaces upon completion. The extension will provide a new hub, helping to centralise the relevant academic offices from the other buildings on campus in a more focused and facilitating way within the existing grounds.
University House itself is Grade II listed, designed originally by Herbert T Buckland and constructed in 1908. The listing highlights the importance of the formation of the plan arrangement and its associated wings alongside the careful and intricate material details of the façade, influenced by the Queen Anne movement. Particular importance is placed on its cultural significance, as this style of architecture was most notably associated with colleges that spearheaded the entry of women into higher education from the late 19th Century.
Within the design reviews in the early stages of the project, we established the new building’s accommodation and access requirements. We reviewed the potential relationships and interfaces between the existing buildings and from this, we highlighted a number of areas which would benefit from some amendments as part of the overall works. Upon discussion with the client, it was planned that the design would create a more efficient and integrated site and a building that holds more cohesively together.