UCL Estates complete social learning and study spaces in student accommodation
6 November 2013
The 2010 Student Survey commissioned by UCLU highlighted the lack of student learning spaces on campus. UCL Estates, working with the Union and its Sabbatical Officers, addressed this by setting up a series of workshops involving UCL staff, academics and students to explore the problem and seek possible solutions.
Estates were fortunate to be able to involve Professor Peter Jamieson – a renowned expert in the delivery of student study facilities from the University of Melbourne – in this work.
As a result of the workshop feedback, Estates developed pilot flexible student learning spaces in the Student Union Building (25 Gordon Street) and in two Halls of Residence – Ramsay and Astor. The briefs were developed with the additional input from hall managers for Ramsay and Astor, and sought to create a more residential and communal feel so that the spaces would work as an extension of the students' living space.
Building on these pilots, UCL Estates have completed two further projects to provide greater opportunities for social learning and study within UCL student residences. These aim to encourage study at home, facilitate social learning with others and to provide a place for gatherings and events.
A well-equipped and contemporary styled space can be a welcoming boost for resident students. Close to the entrance of New Hall on Caledonian Road, this combined IT cluster study room, social TV lounge and mail collection area, provides opportunities for interaction between residents.
The 'family' of upgrades use a similar palette of materials and seating types providing the ability to mix in groups or participate as an individual. The Wi-Fi and fixed PC installations mean the students can remain connected even when socialising or attending a hall event.
John Dodgson House
At John Dodgson House, the existing common room has been extended to include a quiet study zone loaded with fixed PCs at comfortable workstations. The social area has a TV zone with high back seating, which encloses the space for a more homely comfortable viewing experience.
The area now receives daylight from the overhead roof lights – which were previously blocked off – enhancing the quality of the space immensely. As at New Hall the room is furnished to allow flexibility in arrangement for different events and for holding large gatherings, parties and presentations.