The redevelopment of the Grade II listed Bentham House and its neighbouring Gideon Schreier Wing has created more and better quality space for teaching, research and professional services, as well as improved common and social areas for the staff and students of the Faculty of Laws.
The two buildings, which have been home to the Faculty since 1965 (Bentham House) and 2005 (Gideon Schreier Wing), were no longer large enough to accommodate over 100 staff and over 1,000 students and were never intended to function together. New and appropriate learning and teaching spaces have been created as well as better access and navigation between the two buildings in order to support the Faculty's operation and its reputation as a world-class centre for research and teaching excellence as well as the UK's top law school.
Designed by architects Levitt Bernstein the new design fully integrates, physically and socially, all existing parts of Bentham House and the Gideon Schreier Wing. Previously the buildings were linked only at first floor level and many spaces were physically separated with complicated access routes to parts of the building. The new layout is easier to navigate, creates new circulation routes and has greatly improved the buildings' wheelchair accessibility.
The £21.7m project encompasses a major refurbishment and extension of the two existing buildings that form the Faculty's home and creating 1,500 sqm of new space which includes:
A large reception area, linking directly to a bright and spacious featured full-height atrium, central café and social hub, directly adjoining teaching and event spaces.
Cutting edge teaching spaces - relocated and reconfigured to create a flexible suite of different sized teaching rooms for a range of teaching styles including brand new, world-class teaching spaces.
New events spaces with greater capacity.
New student and staff common rooms.
New offices, meeting spaces and computer cluster rooms.
A specialist study suite for graduate research students.
Better connections between the buildings on all upper floors.
Inclusion and Access
Re-rationalising the building from its foundations not its floor plan, was key to creating larger more accessible spaces in a listed heritage building, converting corridors, cupboards and dead space in to a beautiful, open plan spaces that are more accessible and inviting to everyone
All new teaching room spaces are accessible as well as most internal spaces that were re-built
All lecture theatres have space for wheelchair users, either as a space, or easy conversion to a space. Writing/laptop tables to accompany the spaces are available on site
There are plenty of accessible spaces, including event spaces
All staff offices are DDA /Disability Standard compliant
We have placed time-lapse cameras on some of our larger projects. They give a great perspective on how the construction transforms over a period of several months. Click the video below to see how the project has progressed.