This new education hub provides cutting edge facilities for both Birkbeck University of London and the University of East London. Granted planning permission in November 2010, the scheme will provide highly flexible teaching and administrative spaces for a broad mix of uses and departments and will become an exciting beacon of learning in East London.The building represents a unique, mutually beneficial collaboration between the two universities.
Championing an innovative and efficient way of sharing resources and encouraging the exchange of ideas, the facility serves as a model for future educational schemes and will reinforce links with Stratford's expanding Cultural Quarter.Large windows on all sides of the ground level animate the street, with the alignment of the public space extending into the building to create the cafe, reception lobby and atrium foyer.
These qualities create an accessible building that has a strong relationship with the urban, cultural and public character of the area.The exterior is designed to reveal what is happening inside, with the form of the building 'pushed and pulled' to create a series of volumes that mark out the teaching, dance and performance spaces. The cladding defines the building's form and creates elevational variety; the projecting faces are clad in glossy, polished ceramic granite arranged in a vertical grid pattern, while the sides of the projecting volumes are lined with gold-coloured panels. Large pieces of fixed furniture in the interior use metal panels in the same colour, uniting the exterior and interior.