Adjacent to Grade II listed Cottages
600-seat Lecture Theatre
The University of Leicester’s new Teaching and Learning Centre, the Sir Bob Burgess Building. provides the academic focus for the AA-masterplanned £150m mixed use redevelopment of Freemen’s Common.
The prominent site, fronting onto Welford Road and adjacent to the Grade II listed Freemen’s Cottages, sits less than 5 mins walk from the University’s extensive leafy campus a mile south of the city centre.
The 8,000sq.m building houses a 600-seat lecture theatre, the largest in the University’s portfolio, that is able to accommodate the entire cohort for even the largest degree courses. Other facilities include a more compact 250-seat lecture theatre and flat-floor teaching spaces for group sizes ranging between 30 and 120 students. The teaching spaces, which are available for student use outside of lecture times, are supported by spaces for social learning and exhibitions of student work.
The top floor is a flexible, open-plan space which can accommodate both academic and administrative functions and is adaptable to changing needs over time.
The EPC A-rated building achieved great targets for airtightness and thermal performance and BREEAM rating of Very Good. The west-facing elevation, looking towards the city centre and the railway line, features a biodiverse green wall to encourage a broader range of bird and insect species, this supplements a south-facing green roof.
The building’s material palette is predominantly warm tones of buff brickwork and anodised bronze metal rainscreen which is accented by darker tones of metal work, zinc shingles and black brick.
The wider development also encompasses 1,200 student beds, a 550-space multi-storey car park and a range of leisure and social spaces that support the vision for a ‘sticky campus’ by encouraging students to dwell between lectures, aiding collaboration and mutual support.
Our masterplan retained and refurbish the cottages as the centre-piece of the new development with new University facilities including the new Teaching and Learning Centre, a multi-storey car park, high quality self-catered accommodation to meet the needs of today’s students, and the creation of quality open public landscaped spaces. The development also includes smaller sites known as the Dry Dock and a pocket site to the south of Nixon Court known as the Library store.
The accommodation provides a range of options including shared bathroom typologies, en-suite bedrooms in clusters of four to ten with kitchen and living facilities, self-contained studios and one-bedroom apartments. This will significantly upgrade the quality of offer available and broaden the variety to appeal to a wide and competitive student market.
Shared social facilities including a variety of drop in study spaces, meeting rooms, large cafe bar and recreational provision were provided for the residents and the cafe bar is also open to the public.
The materials and massing of the design have been developed to respect the existing character and enhance the visual setting with a high-quality public realm.