In September 2019, Durham University opened the doors to their brand new £40 million, 90,000sq ft Teaching and Learning development. The Teaching and Learning Centre forms part of a 10-year strategy with which Durham University aims to deliver education that is challenging, enabling, research-led and transformative. Styled to support innovative and freeform ways of working, its varied interiors create a range of environments conducive to study.

The strategy proposes to take advantage of the latest digital technologies, welcome talented students from all backgrounds and produce critically and socially engaged global citizens and graduates capable of fulfilling their full career potential. Southernsbroadstock have worked alongside Durham University for over 15 years. The Teaching & Learning Centre is the latest chapter in our relationship, modernising the campus to provide the most productive learning environment for both students and staff.

The Aim.

“Deliver a Teaching and Learning centre with state-of-the-art facilities and technology at Lower Mountjoy”

Durham University’s brief for the Teaching and Learning Centre detailed an essential requirement to support a diverse range of high quality learning environments. User experience was a key factor, ensuring high-calibre staff and students continue to be attracted / retained and it was proposed that The Centre should be of a standard to host major academic conferences, supporting the wider economic impact the University makes to Durham City, County and North East England.

The Scope.

The remit for the Teaching and Learning Centre included the production and installation of fitted and loose furniture, printer hubs, classroom furniture, café furniture and soft furnishings, with a deadline of opening in September for the 2019/2020 academic year. The variety of products required to meet the key directives of the project meant that we had to fully utilise our in-house manufacturing facility and our extensive supply chain.

“We are continuously working to enhance our facilities to guarantee the very best experience for our students, nurturing different teaching and learning styles. Partnering with Southernsbroadstock will allow us to future proof our new learning centre, safeguarding our position as a provider of some of the highest quality teaching in the UK.”

Simon Watt
Senior Project Manager, Durham University

The Approach.

Working in partnership with Durham University and Space Architects, Southernsbroadstock were involved in an ambitious design development process which took nearly two years to complete. Our project managers attended numerous meetings and site visits to maintain a consistent dialogue from concept to completion, drawing on vast education sector experience to direct the furniture specification, ensuring every element had been fully considered and met the high demands of this varied project.

The Solution.

A dedicated project team was created to work closely with the contractor, Galliford Try to ensure the delivery and installation phase ran to schedule. Behind the scenes, our Customer Services team liaised with multiple supply chain companies and co-ordinated the product delivery schedule, whilst the project team ensured products had been manufactured and procured as per the build programme. The Southernsbroadstock site teams worked in partnership with numerous sub-contractor trades and co-ordinated product assembly and product placement. Our project managers also completed continual quality checks and assessments relating to health & safety on site.

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