University names new £60m learning hub after inspirational women

Image: University of Strathclyde

THE University of Strathclyde is to name its new £60 million learning hub after three inspirational women.

Sitting at the heart of the Rottenrow Campus in Glasgow city centre, the building was designed by BDP and is being built by Balfour Beatty.

The project involved the stripping out and refurbishment of the Colville Building and the Architecture Building, with the new-build hub sitting between the two – offering views of the campus gardens.

It features lecture halls and learning spaces, as well as becoming the new home of the university’s students’ union – with the facility featuring music and events spaces, a bar, bistro, and coffee areas, as well as accommodation to support than 100 clubs and societies.

Sustainability has been at the forefront of the project, with it achieving a 67% carbon reduction on a new build project, recycled 97% of waste material, and achieved a BREEAM ‘very good’ rating. The building will also be connected to the university’s district heating and power network.

With work now nearing completion, the university has announced the names of the wings of the building, following a vote and consultation in May which attracted more than 4,400 respondents.

The former B-listed Architecture Building will be called the Professor Mary Dunn Wing, in honour of Strathclyde’s first female professor and head of department.

The former Colville building will be named the Dame Jocelyn Bell-Burnell Wing in recognition of the renowned astrophysicist, first woman president of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and of the Institute of Physics, and honorary graduate of Strathclyde.

Both Wings are connected by a central outdoor events and gatherings space which will be named the Professor Jackie Kay Plaza, in honour of the celebrated poet, novelist and Strathclyde honorary graduate.

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, said, “The new learning and teaching building will be a wonderful place for our university community to meet again in September. It will bring together all our student support services for the first time alongside a transformed Strath Union, leading-edge teaching and learning technology and fantastic events and catering spaces.

“It’s fitting that this important building will be named after inspirational people who have made a fantastic impact on the world around them – and I hope it will inspire our future leaders in engineering, science, business, humanities and social sciences, to do the same, whatever career path they choose to follow.”