Aston University in UK receives approval for ten-storey building

WCN Editorial Team 6 Aug 2021 EUROPE BUILDINGS

The construction of a ten-storey landmark building at Aston University has been given planning approval by the Birmingham City Council in the UK.

After a competition held in 2019, Hawkins\Brown was chosen to design the building.

Hawkins\Brown will also lead a consultant team consisting of Price & Myers, Hoare Lea and Ridge & Partners.

Aston University sought for a new building at the core of its central Birmingham campus.

The design features a civic plinth at ground level and a landmark pavilion above.

The plinth, wrapped in a colonnade made of pigmented pre-cast concrete, addresses the surrounding campus and public realm.

Hawkins\Brown partner Tom Noonan said: “This landmark building will serve as a dynamic new front door to Aston University’s campus – an interface between the University and the wider city.

“It is designed as a building of two halves: civic uses are provided in the lower section which opens out onto a landscaped plaza, enabling new public routes to emerging districts such as Birmingham's knowledge quarter.

“Above this plinth is a more playful ‘lantern’ which contains learning spaces and academic offices. The dynamic and visually striking lantern offers roof terraces where the floorplates shift and is designed to deliver new types of flexible spaces for the University well into the future.”

The upper pavilion features a glazed lantern with that gives a distinctive silhouette within the Birmingham skyline, especially at night when it is lit.

While facilitating natural ventilation and minimising energy use, the façade’s sawtooth form helps to control heat gains into the building.

Among the facilities on the ground floor of the building include a museum-style café with associated social seating and relaxation spaces, a tiered lecture theatre.

The mid-level floors feature flexible teaching spaces, and student and social study areas, and the upper floors are intended for university staff and workspaces.

Furthermore, an atrium rises through the height of the building. Due to open and flexible spaces, the atrium stands to benefit from natural ventilation and daylight.

A new ground floor arcade offers social spaces and a café. The building has teaching and learning facilities, besides academic workspace on the upper floors.


The Hawkins\Brown designed building will form a centrepiece of Aston University’s campus masterplan. Credit: Aston University.

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