Birkbeck University of London Campus
Birkbeck, in partnership with UEL, has a dedicated campus in the centre of Stratford at University Square, next to the Theatre Royal and the Picturehouse. The building provides a variety of cutting edge facilities and is home to the growing number of students choosing to take Birkbeck courses in east London.
A five-floor building, University Square is designed around a large light-filled atrium and will house flexible teaching and performance spaces for over 3,400 students, as well as academic and administrative offices. Within the building there are dedicated spaces for subjects including law, performing arts, dance, music and information technology.
The ground floor provides the central hub of the building as well as a student advice centre, IT helpdesk and café. There will be a dedicated learning resource centre which has been generously funded by the Garfield Weston Foundation.
Birkbeck’s distinctive campus in east London wins Concrete Society Award
Birkbeck has scooped a major award for excellent concrete design and construction at its futuristic £33m state-of-the-art campus in Stratford. The prize was presented on Wednesday 29 October at a glitzy gala dinner in Mayfair at the Concrete Society Awards – the most prestigious event of the construction industry’s calendar.
The accolade recognises the innovative and functional use of concrete at University Square Stratford (USS) – the unique five-storey unique building in the heart of the Stratford’s Cultural Quarter. The campus, which opened in 2013, is a collaboration between Birkbeck and the University of East London.
Designed by award-winning international architectural practice Make and built by contractor VolkerFitzpatrick in association with AWW architects, the campus comprises 8,600 square metres of flexible teaching and performance space around a large, light-filled atrium.
In their comments about USS, the judges said: “The openness of this higher education hub provides the Universities of East London and Birkbeck with flexible, teaching, performance and administrative spaces. An extremely well executed exposed concrete “plinth” visually links the first and ground floors. A generous feature staircase leads to the open-access gallery and link bridge across the atrium. The clean and crisp lines of the very high quality exposed concrete and integrated vertical lighting strips creates a stunning space.”
Architect James Taylor, of Make, said: “For me, the Concrete Society Award in the University Buildings category is a fitting accolade for a project that was all about collaboration. Creating good concrete is a collaborative process too; it requires confidence from the client, good design from the architect, accurate specification of the structural engineer, and precision from the contractor.”
Richard Evemy, project manager for the construction of USS, said: “University Square Stratford is a beacon for higher education in east London. It represents opportunity and regeneration in the area, and it is very fitting that the magnificence of the building has been recognised with such a prestigious award.”
The opening of USS in November 2013 marked the culmination of a seven-year project to bring flexible part-time, full-time, day and evening study opportunities to meet the growing aspirations of the people of east London. Birkbeck provides its teaching in the evenings.