The Definitive Design marks one of the final milestones on the new UBA design road. This design will now be fleshed out into specifications that can be presented to the building contractor for completion of the new delivery end 2022. The building’s defining, historical and listed features will remain intact, the interior expands on those features while adding functionality, comfort and colour.
The provisional design phase gathered a wealth of input from students and staff, with, amongst other things, a Study Places Tinder survey. This input was passed on to MVSA Architects, who translated it into a Provisional Design and subsequently into a more detailed definitive version.
The new library will be a place for meeting and knowledge transfer at every conceivable level. As well as accommodating more than seven kilometres of books, a defining feature of the design is the floorage reserved for study places – more than 1000 in all. There will be a wide array of spots to choose from, including both open and closed rooms and spaces to work alone or together, from study cells to project rooms to collaboration halls, as well as the familiar desks amid the stacks and computer workstations.
Several of the study areas are specifically designed to to support 21st-century competences and challenges. There is an offline room, for instance, where laptops and mobile phones are banned so students can work or read in absolute peace and quiet. There is also room clad completely in whiteboards to give free rein to brainstorming and discussion, and a tree room harnessing plants’ beneficial effects on learning and concentration.
The new UBA also reserves space for teaching. Lectures can be held in the former anatomical theatre, and there are three seminar rooms and a ‘sources’ room for lessons incorporating sources from the collections. On the ground floor is another room that can be booked by teachers or students to serve as a classroom or study area.