London South Bank University’s (LSBU) Business School - previously housed in the University’s London Road building - has had an interior makeover and relocated to a shiny new home within the Student Learning Resource Centre on Borough Road. One year on, the School’s interior refit is complete.
The redevelopment of LBSU Business School is part of an overall £60million investment by the University in improving its estate and infrastructure - of which £40million is being invested in an ambitious project designed by construction firm, Willmott Dixon, to transform the London Road building by 2021.
The School’s refit began in December 2018, with Interior design firm, Maris being selected to provide structural solutions. The primary purpose of the redesign was to relocate the School from offices embedded in the London Road building, to a stand-alone site at LSBU’s former Learning Resource Centre, allowing additional investment into the School’s future for the benefit of staff and students.
The interior design plans were based on LBSU Business School's core values, channelling key themes that characterise the School: flexibility, fluidity, collaboration and interactivity among staff and students.
One of the main aims of the redesign was to incorporate more sustainability into the building in the form of upcycled and recycled furniture. The change from single occupancy offices to an open plan layout meant that a lot of the original furniture could no longer be used. To solve the problem, furniture and machinery - including fridges and dishwashers from the old building - have been upcycled and repurposed. This includes all of the furniture currently being used in the Deanery as well as tables and chairs distributed across all floors. Where some of the furniture could not be upcycled, additional recycled furnishings were purchased as replacements, including the ‘Vona’ chairs in the Learning Lounge and ‘Present’ space that have been constructed using felt made from recycled plastic bottles.
The School also worked closely with Gresham Office Furniture to create a suite of office furniture and to devise interior styling for the school, ensuring that upcycled furniture was embedded in the overall look and feel.
Maris also prioritised the wellbeing of staff and students, while inspiring and encouraging greater productivity through a dynamic interior redesign that incorporates functional elements and welcoming open plan offices and learning areas.
Sarah Moore-Williams, Dean of the School said: “LBSU Business School's new makeover reflects the fact that at LSBU, we are now taking a completely different approach to the delivery of teaching and learning and how we now interact with our students.
“We wanted the new concept to look more business-like, dynamic and aspirational. The smooth lines of the school’s interior really capture the desired effect.”
Highlights of the redesign include two academic hubs -the ‘Learning Lounge’ and ‘Explore’ space – created to encourage greater informal collaboration between staff and students: Private meeting spaces can also be booked for one-to-one feedback sessions.
The Bloomberg Finance Lab on the ground floor, is one of the most eye-catching areas created as it has been, to mimic the look of an actual financial trading floor, with television screens visible from the street and the Bloomberg digital trading platform accessible across all computer terminals. There are also two bookable Skype rooms available for seminars, interviews and conferences.
One of the main benefits derived from relocating the School from its original home in London Road is that each floor of the new building is now on one level, with more lifts, creating greater accessibility.
Improved technological facilities are also key to the School’s transformation into a modern business facility. Glass messaging boards have been placed in each teaching and academic space, alongside new audio-visual equipment to enable video conference calls, presentations and virtual meetings.
The new look LBSU Business School opened recently (September 2019) to all undergraduate and postgraduate Business students.
Find out more about LSBU’s campus redevelopment plan here.