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University of Reading launches architecture school

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The University of Reading is to open a new School of Architecture in 2016

The new school will be officially launched next month, ahead of the first cohort of 40 students in September 2016.

Earlier this year AJ120 Hawkins\Brown were appointed to carry out the refurbishment of the Howell, Killick, Partridge & Amis-designed URS building, known as the ‘Lego Building’, on the universty campus for the new architecture school.

Once refurbished, the building will be predominantly open-plan, with collaborative working spaces, and be home to the University’s School of Construction Management and Engineering, the new School of Architecture, the Department of Art, and the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication. The refurbishment is expected to be completed by December 2018.

David Bell, vice-chancellor of the University of Reading, said: ‘This investment into our new School of Architecture demonstrates our commitment to creating a world-class teaching and learning facility for our students. Our award-winning ‘Lego’ building was built in the 1970s to be a home for the Faculty of Urban and Regional Studies. Its transformation will ensure the University produces architects and designers of the highest calibre.’


Howell, Killick, Partridge & Amis-designed URS building, known as the ‘Lego Building’

Adam Cossey, associate at Hawkins\Brown and former University of Reading student said: ‘This is an exciting project and an opportunity to redesign this building working with the existing structure, not against it. The other challenge is to create a building that works for each of the four different academic disciplines to be housed there. Each department must have its own unique identity, but equally the brief was to create a ‘hub’ for these creative disciplines to come together, allowing students to get a cross-disciplinary experience.’

A £3,000 a year scholarship will be available to the first cohort of students starting in September 2016.

Lorraine Farrelly who will be leading the School as the foundation professor of architecture said: ‘The new School of Architecture will build on the extensive existing staff expertise and reputation around education and research in the built environment, such as the University’s strong School of Contruction, Management and Engineering.’ 

‘We want students to benefit from the professional focus the School will have, which will be strongly linked to the architectural and building practice agenda. And there are some fantastic spaces that the students will be using to support their learning experience.’


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