Client: University of Southampton
Construction cost: undisclosed
The Centenary Building will provide shared learning and teaching facilities for the University of Southampton’s Highfield Campus. Responding to recent shifts in learning patterns and the emergence of new technologies, the building will provide modern spaces for flexible and collaborative learning and include new lecture theatres, seminar rooms, a café and independent and group study spaces.
The two wings of the building, at four and seven storeys, are joined by a generous central staircase. Larger learning spaces are located at lower levels of the building with smaller spaces higher up. Independent study spaces next to the main lecture theatre offer a variety of environments in which to learn. The top of the building, with its far-reaching views, is open to all.
Located on a busy thoroughfare on the campus, the building will have a high footfall and become a space where learning, teaching and collaboration take place.
It connects to the bus interchange, a key point of arrival at campus, and to the existing common land to the West. Negotiating a change in level, the Centre sits within two new landscapes, each responding to the different site characteristics: the lime tree courtyard to the south, and a more contemplative courtyard to the north nestled between the Murray Building and the Law Building.
The new Centre can be read as a series of terraces which grows from the lower level of the landscaped gardens to the upper ground floor. The lower wing creates a terrace to the MBA suite with long views over the campus and surrounding landscape.
The building will use durable materials and simple environmental systems with a focus on minimal water and energy use with an aim to achieve BREEAM Excellent as required by Southampton City Council and aspired to by the University of Southampton.
A modulated pale glazed ceramic façade wraps around the faceted geometry of the building at the upper levels.
The lower levels of the building use a combination of patinated brass and glazing.
In 2012 FCBStudios completed a new Bus Interchange at the heart of the Highfield Campus.
The interchange integrates bus information, a sheltering canopy and an organised waiting area for the students with a small waiting room, kiosk and toilet facilities for bus drivers.
The canopy is long enough to be visible from Library Square, giving it strong campus presence and making it easy to navigate to.