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The Oculus: Your teaching and learning building

Teaching and Learning Building
Beth Kynman"I was blown away by how light and spacious it felt"

Student blogger Beth reviews The Oculus and features some of her own photography.

The Oculus is a cornerstone of our teaching space. The first of its kind on our campus, the building is dedicated to teaching and has a huge range of flexible spaces, as well as brand new 500 and 250 seat lecture theatres.

It's designed to allow the innovative ways in which we teach to flourish, and for us to experiment with new approaches; building on the great work that already happens here, supported by fantastic state-of-the-art AV and a video wall.

The roof lets in a huge amount of light, and it’s an exciting, living building for teaching, as well as a social learning space that helps you take control of your own learning, together, outside of formal contact hours.

It’s a physical space, but what’s most inspiring is that it’s really about the people using it: you. How you’ll learn, how you’ll be taught, how you’ll share knowledge in a new way.

About the building

Lecture theatres and rooms

One of the lecture theatres is the largest on campus with 500 seats, a spectacular glass and timber roof and excellent charging point facilities for laptops and other devices. Of the 4 teaching rooms on the ground floor, 3 open out into the landscaped area outside The Oculus, providing a unique study experience.

Technology

In the central atrium you’ll find a four-screen video wall. This is used for a range of art displays, timetables of upcoming activity in the building and live-streams of lectures and other events in the main lecture theatres. There are high-tech features elsewhere in The Oculus, with electronic screens outside each room showing availability and interactive digital boards to help with wayfinding.

Sustainability

The Oculus is exemplary in its environmental credentials. Tests indicate that it performs well above our already high standards for sustainability in new buildings. Landscaping the area around the building has also been designed to create beautiful outdoor spaces to complement those indoors.

 

About the development

Hear from the team who saw the project from a vision to the reality that it is today.

2.jpgStrategic objectivities were set in combination with an assessment of need for accommodation space, to ensure The Oculus is responsive to the enhancement of teaching and learning.
3.jpgThe design concept developed to ensure key objectives such as permeability of movement, readability of usage, flexibility of spaces and interaction with external environment.
4.jpgThe interaction of the landscaping and external spaces was fundamental to the design concept for The Oculus. The building works with the existing landscape spaces are enhanced to increase usability for social and learning spaces.
5.jpgThe design concept has two wings of teaching spaces with an interconnecting roof covering the lecture theatres which are set within the centre of The Oculus.
7.jpgUnderstanding how the movement of students and staff will interact with The Oculus has been a crucial consideration throughout the design process. The design encourages movement in, out and through the building in many directions, integrating the building into the campus.
8.jpgThe environmental impact of The Oculus through construction and use has been another key measure for the building and has dictated the design and decision process.