FCBStudios design selected for University of Portsmouth’s new academic building

WCN Editorial Team 5 Dec 2019 EUROPE BUILDINGS

RIBA Competitions has chosen the design made by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBStudios) for the University of Portsmouth’s new academic building on the Victoria Site.

The 13-storey building will act as a northern gateway to the university’s city centre campus. It will bring together the Faculty of Business and Law with the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The building will feature space for research, teaching and learning. It will also include student support services, general administrative space and public space on the ground floor.

Touted to have some of the largest teaching spaces on campus, the new building will house two 250-seat and one 500-seat lecture theatres at the lower levels.

The academic workspace is focused on two triple-height spaces which include the Park Room and the City Room.

The ground floor will house a ‘Market Hall’, which will be a flexible civic space for the university and the city to gather.

The top floor will include a destination restaurant and a roof terrace to offer panoramic views to the Spinnaker Tower.

The University of Portsmouth vice-chancellor Graham Galbraith said: ‘’I am extremely pleased to announce FCBStudios as the winner of the RIBA International Design Competition for our new academic building. We had a large number of high quality submissions and the panel felt that the practice’s extensive experience in the higher education sector was very evident. The panel agreed that the building would create a strong identity for the University and a statement for the city.

“The design is an outstanding example of a sustainable and environmentally responsible building. By bringing the two faculties together within one building, it will enable us to become a centre for collaboration, creativity, innovation and above all inspiration and interaction.”

FCBStudios claimed that the panel which selected the design because of the aesthetic sensibility of the scheme and the strong sculptural form and diaphanous veil.

The large ocular windows are claimed to be the principal elevations and will be at the heart of each faculty.

FCBStudios partner Andy Theobald said: “We are delighted to have won the RIBA competition for the University of Portsmouth’s new Victoria Park academic building. Our proposals aim to deliver new academic neighbourhoods combined with inspirational teaching and learning that will enable innovative working, collaboration and creativity across the two faculties.

“Flexible enough to serve and evolve with the University, we have echoed the brief’s ambitions to establish a careful balance of environmental, economic and social sustainability. We are looking forward to working with the University to refine and deliver this project.”

The new building is part of the university’s £400m Estate Masterplan, which also includes a new indoor sports facility in Ravelin Park. The masterplan is expected to be delivered in the next 10 years.

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Image: Artist’s rendering of the University of Portsmouth’s new building. Photo: Courtesy of University of Portsmouth.

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