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Associated Architects gets the OK for Wolverhampton architecture school

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Associated Architects’ new designs for an architecture school on the site of a Grade II-listed former brewery in the West Midlands have been given the go-ahead

The Birmingham-based practice’s plans for the University of Wolverhampton’s School of Architecture and the Built Environment has received permission from city councillors.

The design of the 7,900m² building – part of Phase 1 of the £100 million redevelopment of the site for the university’s new Springfield Campus – will centre on the former Springfield Brewery’s restored clock tower.

The school will have space for more than 1,200 students with specialist labs, multi-disciplinary workshops, a lecture theatre and a top-floor studio with double-height ceilings.

The practice was appointed after earlier consented plans by Atkins had to be scrapped at pre-construction stage when it emerged that certain buildings on the site could not be used as expected.

The new plans by Associated Architects – which celebrates its 50th anniversary this yea – show a building wrapped around the clock tower with an open atrium spanning three floors.

Outside will be a landscaped piazza and courtyard linking the new school together with the rest of the site. The outer brick façade of the former brewery will be retained.

The scheme will also provide social and work spaces including a café, offices and meeting rooms.

Associate Alex Paul said: ’The 12-acre Grade II-listed site has suffered from over 20 years of abandonment. With this in mind, the design for the project sees the new building wrapped around the brewery’s former clock tower and features a naturally lit open atrium.’

Deputy vice-chancellor Jackie Dunne at Wolverhampton University said: ’The new design is really exciting and will be a fantastic addition to the city. Springfield is a key strategic project for the university and we are committed to realising the vision of the site and the part this will play in regenerating Wolverhampton.’

The historic Springfield Brewery building, which was damaged by the fire in 2004, was purchased by Wolverhampton University in 2014.

The aim is that the new school will be built in the 2019-20 academic year.


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