University of the West of Scotland
The University of the West of Scotland's (UWS) new Lanarkshire campus provides an innovative and beautiful new working environment.
The UWS Lanarkshire campus at Hamilton International Technology Park illustrates the way in which office spaces are starting to morph into other types of workspace and vice versa. The new campus, home to over 3,000 staff and students, envisaged a massive change in learning and teaching practice with maximum flexibility and utilisation of new technologies underpinning the entire strategy. UWS’s ambition for a totally new university experience inspired the conversion of a shell and core office development into a hugely flexible learning environment, for which we provided the interior design.
The project consisted of three existing buildings set above two levels of undercroft car parking. Our design linked the three buildings along the front by a three-storey atrium (later dubbed the ‘learning street’). For maximum flexibility, our space planning strategy zoned all enclosed spaces within the centre of the floor plates, leaving the perimeter for open and semi-enclosed space, sub-dividable by sliding screens.
The challenge throughout was to provide an individual and Human Scaled set of ‘mini-environments’ within a standardised foot print and limited budget. The central core is therefore full of nooks and crannies and the open plan populated with a variety of furniture solutions, providing similar opportunity for individuals or small groups to create their own ‘mini-environments’.
In terms of physical impact, the new modern facility is fresh and bright and far from a standard classrooms and corridors model. As such, it illustrates the kind of inherent flexibility required of all major developments if they are going to be able to respond to changing markets and changing workstyles.