The brief - a School of Architecture and Design and a University library - opened questions of how we teach and how we learn today at a time when some question the premise of the fixed physical university base. The project is structured around creating the conditions for casual interaction and dialogue.
The School of Architecture is designed around a large studio conceived of as a factory floor, a large space on the first floor, structured by courtyards and light wells. Seminar rooms overlook the studio to make an integrated design space and a large stair skewers the building connecting all floors.
The Library, which operates separately, occupies five floors and is designed around a dominant central stair. The space is designed as a series of learning areas, group spaces, lounge areas, group rooms, individual spaces, quiet space, it is recognised that not everyone learns in the same manner and the diversity of the library should accommodate a wide range.
The building is located within a World Heritage Site in Greenwich Town Centre. Its massing is organised in narrow and wide bands which step down towards the residences at the rear. The wide bands house the programme with narrow bands containing courtyards and services. A series of roof terraces is created by the stepped section which becomes learning and meeting spaces for the students.
The building facades continue the conceptual strategies of the building organisation with a hard street edge defined by the site banding and the sides expressing the building section. The approach to the architecture is pragmatic and restrained, creating an infrastructure that will allow its future designers to continue to self-detail the building.