Staff, Students and Community Experience

Green Heart

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A striking new parkland in the centre of the University of Birmingham’s historic campus will be created following the completion of the new Library in September 2016. With work beginning in early 2017, the Green Heart will be completed in 2019.

Measuring over 12 acres, the Green Heart project will open up the centre of campus for students, staff and the local community to enjoy. It will provide a space for performances, socialising, meeting and studying, while opening up views across the whole campus, as envisaged in the 1920s. 

For more information on what to expect, please visit our FAQs and planned build schedule. 

Old Gym Refurbishment

Old Gym

The 1940s old gymnasium will be converted into a 50% office and 50% teaching building to accommodate approximately 94 staff in open plan and 5 teaching spaces on the lower ground floor for 257 students.

The construction of the Old Gymnasium in 1939-41 followed the Physical Training and Recreation Act of 1937, promoted by the prime minister Neville Chamberlain as part of a drive to improve public health by integrating physical education into daily life. The construction of the building ceased during the Second World War. The glazed curtain wall extension will now complete the original vision for this building.   

Construction Start Date: September 2017

Scheduled Completion: October 2018

Scheduled Occupation: December 2018

Lead Consultant: Associated Architects

Structural, Mechanical and Electrical Designers: ARUP

Cost Consultant: Robinson Low Francis

Principal Designer: Steve Barnsley Associates

The Loft - Learning Spaces Refurbishment

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The Loft (formerly known as the Coffee Lounge) has been renovated with the learning experience at its heart. This dedicated study space provides seating for up to 190 students and caters for different learning styles. There will be 30 PC stations (following installation) and an assortment of high back booths, large tables and mixed loose and fixed seating which gives flexibility for study groups and meetings. This first-class study space benefits from panoramic windows which let in optimal light, and students will also find their learning experience enriched due to new acoustic baffles, integrated lighting, solid flooring and upgraded air ventilation. Each seat also has access to a power source and Wi-Fi signal has been optimised.

The Avon Room - Learning Spaces Refurbishment

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The Avon Room has  been transformed into an airy and bright modern lecture theatre, with retractable seating fitted with individual writing surfaces. Acoustics have been enhanced in the theatre to ensure that sound is audible from all areas of the room, and improved facilities such as modern air ventilation, solid wooden floors and upgraded fire alarms mean that the space is comfortable and also safe. Teaching will also be enriched due to twin lecture screens and advanced Wi-Fi.

Additional improvements have also been made to the overall structure of the building. A new insulated roofing system and improved wall cladding have enhanced the structure’s energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. We are also incorporating new signage, lighting and toilet facilities across the floors.  

Grange Road Residences

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The University of Birmingham's new Bournbrook residence will have space for 178 student bedrooms, arranged in 34 flats housing between four and seven people each and including 11 wheelchair accessible rooms. The design of the new residences is bright and modern, with communal spaces at the corners of the buildings to allow residents to benefit from views towards campus and Selly Oak. The residency will also boast a café, open to the local community, a new sports pavilion and a dedicated student accommodation office. 

The Bournbrook development is part of the University’s ongoing commitment to invest in high-quality accommodation in a vibrant community.

Construction Start Date: April 2016

Scheduled Completion: August 2017

The Bournbrook development will open its doors to students in September 2017.

Conference Park - Hotel and Conference Centre

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The 172-bed hotel and conference facility will be known as the Hornton Grange Hotel and Conference Centre, and will be built near to the University’s existing conference facilities off Edgbaston Park Road, creating provision for 220 beds overall.

Main Contractor: Galliford Try

Architect: Glancy Nicholls

Construction Start Date: June 2016

Scheduled Completion: July 2018

Scheduled Occupation: August 2018

Conference Park - Horton Grange and Garth House

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The University is planning a new hotel and conferencing facility on our main campus in Edgbaston, in order to enhance the experience of those visiting and staying on campus. The facility is planned to open in 2018.

The plans also include the regeneration of Garth House, a Grade II* listed building, and Hornton Grange as part of the work to preserve them for future generations. Garth House, an Arts and Crafts house, was built in 1900, and Hornton Grange in 1928; both buildings form part of the University’s existing conference facilities. 

Main Contractor: Harrabin Construction

Architect: Glancy Nicholls

Construction Start Date: June 2016

Construction Completed: November 2017

Scheduled Occupation: December 2017

Redevelopment of Bournbrook Pitches

Bournbrook Pitches

The redevelopment of the Bournbrook Pitches will result in the creation of new multi-sport facilities, including:

  • A floodlit artificial 3G rugby pitch
  • 8-10 tennis/netball courts
  • 2 floodlit water-based synthetic pitches which can be used for a variety of sports, including: hockey, 11 a-side and 6 a-side football
  • Replacement of all existing floodlighting with new LED lighting
  • Space for temporary seating for major hockey events
  • On site vehicular parking

Construction and Property Consultants: Robinson Low Francis LLP

Construction Start Date: May 2017

Scheduled Completion: December 2017

University Station: Our Campus Destination

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The installation of a suite of new artwork has been designed to enhance the first impressions of visitors and commuters at the station, whilst also supporting a shared ambition to improve passenger flow. We have worked closely with London Midland address a number of challenges with the University Station, particularly around passenger flow through the station, clear waymarking at the exit, and also the general appearance and wear and tear given the extremely high volume of people that pass through the station.

Reflecting the themes of the Strategic Framework, the new visuals celebrate our 11 Nobel prizes, the depth and breadth of research and study opportunities at the University, as well as putting a new spotlight on our visitor attractions and cultural assets. The new signs also reference a brand new website ‘www.birmingham.ac.uk/destination’, created to celebrate the University as a visitor destination as well as home to a world-class research and study experience.