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FIRST LOOK

Sheppard Robson completes £41 million faculty at Birmingham City University

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The 10,500m2 addition to the university’s City South campus is the new home for the Faculty of Health, Education & Life Sciences

Designed by Sheppard Robson and its interior design group ID:SR, the new building accommodates 5,500 staff and students from four schools within the university, and is rated BREEAM Excellent.

In addition to new space for health and social care, sports and life sciences courses, the building also offers businesses facilities for research and product development in the sports, nutrition, teacher training, clothing and health sectors.

Bcu by sheppard robson  credit jack hobhouse (7)

Bcu by sheppard robson credit jack hobhouse (7)

The design of the brickwork draws on its local context, the Westbourne Road and Edgbaston conservation area, while the overall massing reflects the need to retain a Grade-A oak tree on the site. 

Internally, atria spaces and a central circulation spine link the new building with existing ones, with teaching spaces alongside highly specialised facilities such as an environmental chamber, a gait analysis area, nutrition and microbiology labs, a sports lab, physiotherapy and ultrasound suites. 

Architect’s view

From the very start, Birmingham City University was clear: they wanted us to provide a single academic environment that would stimulate learning and teaching, further collaboration and create a sense of community.

We have taken this a step further by providing facilities that are in demand from a range of industry professionals. This not only increases revenue opportunities for the university, but also supports industry and academia partnerships, giving BCU students an advantage by improving employability.

Natalia Maximova, associate partner, Sheppard Robson

Bcu by sheppard robson  credit jack hobhouse (6)

Bcu by sheppard robson credit jack hobhouse (6)

Client’s view 

This building provides state-of-the-art facilities for thousands of our staff and students. The industry-standard equipment, and our partnerships with professional sports teams, will ensure that by the time our students leave us they have the skills, experience and expertise to hit the ground running in their careers.

It is also pleasing that after working alongside the Civic Society we were able to unveil a commemorative plaque which recognises the site’s long educational heritage as the former home of the pioneering physicist Oliver Lodge.

Philip Plowden, vice-chancellor, Birmingham City University

Bcu section

Bcu section

Project data

Start on site May 2016
Completion Sept 2018
Gross internal floor area 10,500m²
Gross (internal + external) floor area 12,500m²
Form of contract or procurement route Design & Build
Construction cost £41 million
Construction cost per m2 £3,559
Architect Sheppard Robson
Interior designer ID:SR
Client Birmingham City University
Structural engineer WYG
M&E consultant Couch Perry Wilkes
QS Currie & Brown
Landscape consultant Gillespie
Project manager Birmingham City University
Main contractor BAM
CAD software used Revit

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