Transforming UCL


World class teaching and learning space opens at Torrington Place

10 January 2018

A brand new suite of teaching and learning spaces has opened on the Ground and Lower Ground floors of 1-19 Torrington Place, part of UCL's Bloomsbury campus alongside the main quad Teaching Pop Up and a refurbished floor at Central House.

Torrington Place reception

The centrally bookable teaching spaces at Torrington Place are complemented by many areas where students can relax, study and collaborate between classes.

The redevelopment has been an opportunity to introduce flexible room configurations, furniture and technology-assisted learning (TEAL) to support UCL's Education Strategy, with its emphasis on student-led research, collaboration and skills development.

The new teaching spaces have capacities ranging from 18 - 120 seats. While the lecture theatres have traditional layouts, the classrooms can be reconfigured to support different types of learning, including group project work and problem-based learning. Outside of the formal teaching spaces, seating with integrated power sockets and laptop tables allow students to continue their learning. The project includes improved access to, and circulation within, the building, the installation of gender-neutral toilets and a water fountain on each floor. Indeed, the building has been re-designed with accessibility, inclusion and sustainability at the heart of the design.

Sarah Al-Aride, Education Officer, Students' Union, said: "Students know too well the difficulties associated with the lack of space at UCL and the pressures of finding a suitable space to study are especially problematic during the hectic exam period."

Sarah went on to say, "I am very pleased with the opening of Torrington Place in time for term 2 with learning spaces that are equipped with essential facilities and accessibility requirements that cater for our diverse student body. I hope to see the teaching spaces used flexibly to accommodate for student learning all year round."

Professor Anthony Smith, Vice-Provost for Education and Student Affairs, said: 'I am very glad to see the new teaching spaces come into use at Torrington Place. The combination of versatile classrooms, integrated technology, break-out spaces and full accessibility means it will be a great place for our students to learn and create knowledge.'

The Torrington Place project has been delivered by UCL Estates, as part of Transforming UCL, the university's extensive £1.2 billion building and refurbishment programme.

1-19 Torrington Place is part of a 23% increase in centrally bookable teaching space that will be provided during the 2017-18 academic year. Two other significant projects have also been completed by UCL Estates for Term 2. The Teaching Pop Up in the Main Quad - consisting of two 100 seat and two 50 seat teaching rooms - and a further 91 seat teaching room on the second floor of Central House will also provide increased capacity in high quality spaces.