Language Centre transformation translates into impressive new facilities

Colleagues can learn more about the Language Centre’s impressive new facilities during an open day in the refurbished premises next week.

Views down the corridor are now uninterrupted and make a significant difference to the circulation spaces

Views down the corridor are now uninterrupted and make a significant difference to the circulation spaces. January 2020

Staff and students have moved back ‘home’ into Parkinson after a 15-month construction project to transform facilities in the iconic building.

Refurbishment of levels two and three provide a high quality environment for learning and teaching, including the Centre’s area for independent language learning, which is available to all staff and students.

It also provides workspace for colleagues comprising the Centre for Excellence in Language Teaching in the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies.

And colleagues can experience the improvements first hand during the open day events on Wednesday 22 January.

Informal drop-in sessions will be held from 8.30am together with several workshops where you can:

  • find out more about why our work is important to the University
  • tap into the Centre’s expertise on admissions and support for international students
  • learn from experts about how to pronounce Chinese names; and
  • discuss how the Centre’s staff can work with you to remove barriers to learning for your international students.

Sign up to attend morning and afternoon workshops via Eventbrite or contact June Parsons, PA to the Language Centre’s Executive Director, Yolanda Cerda, via email or on 0113 343 3774 for further information.

Inclusion of large glazed screens allow views into teaching spaces and offices, which creates a clearer and brighter environment, whilst also aiding wayfinding and collaboration. January 2020Inclusion of large glazed screens allow views into teaching spaces and offices, which creates a clearer and brighter environment, whilst also aiding wayfinding and collaboration 

The refurbishment project has been designed to maximise space while highlighting key features of this historic building, also retaining the Centre as a key gateway to the University for many international students.

New facilities provide a modern and attractive learning environment.

The third floor is now exclusively for Language Centre colleagues and comprises office and meeting space, while the second floor has been reconfigured to be student facing, including:

  • a new Language Centre reception and Student Support Office
  • a reconfigured Language Zone entrance
  • five rooms for small group teaching, complete with lecture capture facilities; and
  • three technology enhanced rooms for innovation in language teaching.

Rupert Herington, Deputy Director, Language Centre, said: “After 15 months elsewhere on campus, we are very pleased to be back in the Parkinson building and very happy with how the two floors have been transformed.”

New ‘breakout’ areas and private seating booths allow or group or individual study. January 2020New ‘breakout’ areas and private seating booths allow for group or individual study 

Other features of the development include:

  • refurbished common and pastoral areas
  • improved signage throughout the Centre
  • new ‘breakout’ areas and private seating booths for group or individual study
  • additional meeting and consultation rooms
  • new staff facilities, including kitchen areas and ‘breakout’ space; and
  • improved lighting and ventilation to provide a more comfortable and energy-efficient environment.

Penny Tiffney, Senior Interior Architectural Designer in Estates, said: “The success of the completed scheme is a direct result of a collaboration and frequent communication between the Estates team, our consultants, the contractor and the stakeholders. The focus was on the details and that is evident in the elegance of the completed scheme.

“The existing structure, with its heavy masonry brickwork, initially offered its challenges, but our design consultants, Associated Architects, worked with the structural grid to create new spaces that complemented the rhythm of this Grade II listed building.

“The essence of the specified interior finishes was to complement the original aesthetics. The original parquet, walnut doors and brass ironmongery were restored, in part, or recreated to match existing. And the new colour palette was subtle and muted, so as not to detract from original architectural features.”

Visit the Campus Developments webpages to see further photos of the Language Centre and to read about other campus projects.

 

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