Language Centre staff and students have moved back ‘home’ into Parkinson after a 15-month construction project to transform facilities in the iconic building.
Refurbishment of levels two and three provide high quality facilities for learning and teaching, including the Centre’s area for independent language learning, which is available to all staff and students.
The project has been designed to maximise space while highlighting key features of this historic building, also retaining the Centre as a key gateway to the University for many international students.
New facilities provide a modern and attractive learning environment.
The third floor is now exclusively for Language Centre colleagues and comprises office and meeting space, while the second floor has been reconfigured to be student facing, including:
- a new Language Centre reception and Student Support Office
- a reconfigured Language Zone entrance
- five rooms for small group teaching, complete with lecture capture facilities; and
- three technology enhanced rooms for innovation in language teaching.
Rupert Herington, Deputy Director, Language Centre, said: “After 15 months elsewhere on campus, we are very pleased to be back in the Parkinson building and very happy with how the two floors have been transformed.”
Other features of the development include:
- refurbished common and pastoral areas
- improved signage throughout the Centre
- new ‘breakout’ areas and private seating booths for group or individual study
- additional meeting and consultation rooms
- new staff facilities, including kitchen areas and ‘breakout’ space; and
- improved lighting and ventilation to provide a more comfortable and energy-efficient environment.
Penny Tiffney, Senior Interior Architectural Designer in Estates, said: “The success of the completed scheme, is a direct result of a collaboration and frequent communication between the Estates team, our consultants, the contractor and the stakeholders. The focus was on the details and that is evident in the elegance of the completed scheme.
“The existing structure, with its heavy masonry brickwork, initially offered its challenges, but our design consultants, Associated Architects, worked with the structural grid to create new spaces that complimented the rhythm of this Grade II listed building.
“The essence of the specified interior finishes was to complement the original aesthetics. The original parquet, walnut doors and brass ironmongery were restored, in part, or recreated to match existing. And the new colour palette was subtle and muted, so as not to detract from original architectural features.”