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Atkins wins planning permission for Wolverhampton school of architecture

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Plans by Atkins to transform a former brewery in Wolverhampton into a school of architecture have been given the go-ahead

The new School of Architecture and Built Environment for the University of Wolverhampton will form part of a £100 million new campus to be built on the derelict Springfield Brewery site in Cambridge Street.

The Grade II-listed brewery opened in 1873 and beer was brewed there until its closure in 1990. A fire destroyed much of the site in 2006.

Proposals for the 8,100m² scheme include an atrium, open-plan design studios, laboratories, lecture theatres, classrooms and café facilities.

The school will provide space for nearly 800 students and 50 staff, with the number of students set to rise to more than 1,200 in the future.

Helen Newman, Atkins’ lead architect for the project, said: ‘Working closely with the university and the local planning department, we’ve created a design that will retain, protect and celebrate the existing buildings, whilst clearly expressing the new, modern interventions.

‘The external spaces of the former brewery will be brought to life, transforming into a vibrant, central shared courtyard space for all of the partner hubs.’

Design features include the retention of the outer brick facade on Grimstone Street and Cambridge Street and a link between the old and new buildings.

A number of existing buildings that have fallen into disrepair will be demolished, while others will be refurbished and one new building will be constructed.

University of Wolverhampton vice-chancellor Geoff Layer said: ‘The vision for the Springfield campus is to make it into a world-leading hub for construction and the built environment. It is an integral part of our strategic investment, as well as acting as central part of our efforts to support economic growth and regeneration plans for Wolverhampton and the Black Country.

‘It is a project that has people in the university, our partners and the industry tremendously excited with the potential it has. It will go some way to start addressing the skills gap in a sector which has a big shortfall in the right people with the right skills to design, create and build the new homes, offices and infrastructure that will be needed in the UK over the next 20 years.’

The major scheme will be constructed next to the £10 million West Midlands Construction University Technical College, designed by Associated Architects and Thomas Vale, which is set to open next month.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • It is interesting to learn that this development is on a site of a Grade ll listed building that was destroyed by fire in 2006. It is imperative that all Commercial Buildings, of historic value, feature a fireproof, type MICC enhanced fire survival cable for fire related emergency services and security of the electrical supply. This type of cable is ageless and has served the test of time fighting fires for over 80 years.
    Geoff Williams
    Fire Technology Consultant
    Nuclear & Infrastructure.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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