QMUC was designed as a sustainable, accessible and secure ‘academic village’ with excellent public transport access and modern, including ICT-enabled facilities open to the community after hours. The brief was developed in close consultation with end users, identifying energy efficiency and whole life cycle costs as priorities. Accommodation includes an extensive academic building (with open plan offices, Learning Resources Centre and flexible teaching spaces), sports centre, and biomass energy hub.
The concept for FF+E at Queen Margaret University complements the overall building concept of a 24-7 accessible, fully IT enabled hub, vibrant, and flexible environment which inspires new ways of learning and social interaction. Staff and research areas combine open plan desking with break out areas to facilitate team working and informal exchanges. The furniture colour concept adds vibrant colour to the neutral palette of the base build design. The central atrium space is used for a variety of functions – from refectory to IT space to tutorial meeting area to social space.
The proposals represented a fundamental shift from the way the library services previously operated, moving from a front desk orientated service to a more fluid floor walker and help desk approach. The challenge was to resolve the conflict between the needs of an open accessible facility and the secure elements. Our solution met both requirements, allowing the LRC learning terraces to be a vibrant, central part of the university campus.