Functionality and user experience were key elements of the brief which demanded us to create a variety of work settings and a consistent branded experience. We created an agile working environment across the two floors which would transform the way the students worked, allowing them to choose task-focused workspaces.
The final design is a modern environment filled with a variety of workspaces. High benches and soft seating promote collaborative project work, while new individual booths and quiet areas offer space for concentration. Acoustic baffles and dividers are situated throughout the floors to reduce noise transfer and create areas better suited to quiet working.
The additional fourth floor at ARU accommodates an extra 1,000 students, which doubled the building’s original capacity. This required us to assess the existing infrastructure to ensure the building performance remained at its optimum. We had to add new facilities and services to the building, including six plant rooms, new WCs, and ventilation systems.
Navigation through the building was also an important element of this project. To create a more intuitive layout, we cut through the slab to add a staircase to connects the third and fourth floors. This opened a new circulation route through the building and took pressure away from high footfall zones.
The final space has been transformed for employees and students, providing them with a combination of high concentration workspaces and collaboration areas. The finished space includes 17 seminar rooms, ancillary spaces, a library, study area, breakout space and increased resources for teachers.