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Southampton Solent University The Spark

The Spark embodies the University’s vision in its iconic design and use of space and is the first academic building with 84% of classroom space dedicated to non-traditional learning.

Southampton Solent University is a vibrant, modern place of learning with ambitious aims. As an applied University, its focus is on becoming the leading skills provider in the region. Award winning architects, Scott Brownrigg were commissioned to create a pioneering concept for its new teaching and learning space. Its innovative design was The Spark.

The Approach

It was vital that the space design within each classroom supported both didactic and collaborative teaching and learning. Led by our teams, the University carried out a collaborative consultation on future learning strategy which enabled us to put forward bold suggestions, concepts that pushed the boundaries of building design and use of space to help the University realise its ambitions.

Flexible Thinking

It was essential that the furniture selection supported the functions of all the facilities within The Spark. SouthernsBroadstock’s wealth of experience in educational settings and its ability to design and manufacture bespoke furniture delivered an innovative solution meeting the clients brief. Coupled with its capacity to source products from multiple manufacturers and its use of a single point of contact through a dedicated project manager was fundamental for the success of the project.

Details

With its passion for perfecting spaces, no detail was overlooked. Power and charger sockets in the social space for students’ phones and laptops were provided and premium finishes like leather and Zebrano were recommended for the chairs and tables in the conference room. Desks were matched to different types of teaching rooms using colour-coded legs and different chair heights were selected for The Spark’s Pod to create a theatre effect. The recommended furniture could be moved to accommodate both collaborative learning and exam set ups.

The value that SouthernsBroadstock gave us was that they arranged for a number of different visits around the furniture showrooms in London, for the conference centre and the atrium furniture. It was tactile and much better than picking things out of a brochure.

Osama Khan, Director, Learning & Teaching

An Exciting Journey

SouthernsBroadstock’s installation in The Spark was not an end result – it was the start of an exciting journey for the academics and students that was part of this incredible learning environment. To ensure the investment is fully evaluated SouthernsBroadstock collaborated with the University to assess the impact of the new space designs and furniture, as well as undertaking its own post-occupancy research to help SouthernsBroadstock inform future projects.

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