UCL Bloomsbury Masterplan: new student hub

9 May 2013

Student Hub

The JBS Haldane Student Hub opened in Anatomy at the start of the summer term in April 2013. This large space overlooks the South Quad and is based in the Anatomy Building extension.

The Hub is one of the new student-centred social study spaces which have been developed to enhance the student experience in line with the Bloomsbury Masterplan key strategy for UCL Hubs and the UCL Institutional Learning and Teaching Strategy 2010-15, both of which referenced feedback from various student surveys in their recommendations.

It was formerly a Histology Laboratory, with fixed rows of old teak benching.

The Hub is a School of Life and Medical Sciences facility but it will be open to all students. Hours of opening are currently 8:00am to 6:00pm, Monday to Friday.

It is one of the first steps of the phased masterplan and strategic refurbishment for the Anatomy and Medical Sciences Building. The hub is an ‘interim’ facility and will be replaced by a similar facility in the proposed new-build Anatomy Extension, which is expected to be complete in about 5 years’ time.

The Hub provides quality student space for mixed modes of study and relaxation with sufficient capacity for about 145 students.

The large space is divided up into different zones by 2-metre high slatted screens. There are a number of soft seating areas located around the perimeter near the windows and the centre is taken up with two long benches, each providing fourteen built-in computers and monitor screens.

The south windowless wall includes a number of group-learning tables for groups of four to six and a buffer zone includes more group learning tables and a ‘snake bench’. Two small rooms off the main space provide interactive screen study spaces for up to six students in each.

Themed colours of green, pink, orange and yellow for furniture and feature walls brighten up the space. The pink colour has been used to dramatic effect in the entrance lobby to ensure that it gets noticed (it is a rather narrow lobby adjacent to the J Z Young Lecture and would otherwise be easily missed).

There are several references to the old Histology Laboratory. Images from a treasure trove of old Histology slides are used for a large wall vinyl and for back-lit images in a long wall unit, which itself is partly made up of an old laboratory fitting. The slats of the dividing screens are made up from teak salvaged from the old laboratory benches (the salvaged teak was also used for the perimeter wall-rail).

We hope students will enjoy using the space!

Richard Marguerie (UCL Biosciences) is undertaking some surveys of students using the space. We hope that students will be happy to give some feedback to Richard so that we can review how well the new JBS Haldane Hub is working.


Links

Read the UCL Bloomsbury Masterplan