Bournemouth University’s (BU) Poole Gateway Building, has been officially opened by BU’s Chancellor Dr Kate Adie CBE, DL.
The building, which sits on the gateway to BU’s Talbot Campus, houses a range of high quality technical teaching facilities for students on industry-focused undergraduate and postgraduate courses, as well as facilities to enhance the university’s research.
Within the Poole Gateway building there are two multi-camera TV studios, a film studio and sound stage, music studios, a cinema to view student-made films, edit suites, sound suites, music studios, green screen and motion capture studios for animation.
Atkins was appointed to deliver full architectural, interior and landscape design for the new building, to create an impressive visual gateway to Talbot Campus. The building has a striking triangulated external form, which takes inspiration from the digital triangulation of animation software and was designed to encompass the range of technical spaces within, each requiring a highly specific layout with great variance in form, shape and performance.
The official opening of the building was attended by Bournemouth University board members and senior leaders, as well as representatives from the Students’ Union, and the building’s key contractors including Wilmott Dixon and Atkins. BU’s chancellery, council leaders, local Mayors, school leaders and Talbot Village Trust trustees were also among the guests at the opening, as well as a range of other companies that helped in the building’s construction.
Professor John Vinney, Vice-Chancellor of Bournemouth University, said, “These new facilities provide a fantastic environment for our students and staff to work together across science and technology, media and communication.
“We continue to invest in our staff and in our facilities as part of our BU2025 strategy to be recognised world-wide for our vibrant learning community.”
The building will also accommodate new animation, games and music, PC and Apple Mac laboratories, equipped with industry-standard software and the latest post-production editing eco-system, allowing for online collaboration between students working on group projects.
Opening the building, BU’s Chancellor Dr Kate Adie CBE, DL, said, “When good buildings are built, the students get a sense of the place, and a sense of grandeur; that is something that makes people in this town and in this county proud.
“ the people who will come to work and to teach, and especially those who come to learn here, what a wonderful, wonderful place this is to be – I think we are very lucky.”
The building has achieved a Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM) ‘Excellent’ rating for its sustainability, with the building designed to be as environmentally-friendly as possible, including a number of carbon-reducing measures in place. Sustainability is at the heart of BU’s BU2025 vision, underlined by BU ranking the 7th university globally for its sustainable consumption and development by the THE Universities Impact Ranking 2019.
Atkins’ design team also placed the health and wellbeing of students at the forefront of the building’s design through its Human Centred Design approach. This involved the surveying of future building users on preferential design attributes, from collaboration spaces and workspace noise levels to control over heating and access to natural light. Using feedback from these stakeholder engagement sessions resulted in layering floors of acoustic-and-light-sensitive spaces with levels of bright and open non-specialist spaces. This design strategy offers students moments of reprieve from the hermetically-sealed environments within the building, which they are likely to find themselves in for hours at a time.
In attendance at the opening event, Helen Groves, Head of Education at Atkins, said: “The building’s design was informed by an in-depth understanding of user priorities, to place their needs and wellbeing at its core. Every aspect of the building’s design, from its overall form down to the specification of materials, supports the creation of a healthy environment for students and faculty.
“Designing such a prominent building on the university’s campus has been an opportunity to showcase our architectural expertise, and it’s great to see the building officially open. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Bournemouth University to further enhance the campus offering for students, staff and visitors alike.”
Students studying a range of courses, in subject areas such as Film, TV, Media, Music Production and Media Production, will all have access to the new facilities, alongside students from BU’s National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA).