• Start date: January 2014
  • Construction completion: July 2016
  • Operational by: Start of 2016/17 academic year
  • Capital investment: £20m 

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New School of Law Building

The redevelopment of the former Library Tower as a prestigious new home for the School of Law and a new social hub is a key element in the major investment of £350m in world-class facilities for staff and students planned over the next decade. It is also part of the Masterplan for the Main Site, which will enhance the University’s historic campus and the surrounding Conservation Area.  

The project involves retention of part of the Tower’s structural frame and removal of the three upper floors (now complete). A new three-storey building will connect the refurbished Tower and the Peter Froggatt Centre (PFC), effectively creating a single building; within which a series of central atrium spaces will provide light and natural ventilation. School of Law staff and student facilities are on the upper floors, while the ground floor offers a hub providing social and informal group study space and a café. This is designed to be a vibrant “destination” for both students and staff.

The project also involves the extension of the PFC concourse area, re-cladding of the south and east facades, and re-modelling of the west end of the building. This re-modelling will close the north façade of the Quad, making the Naylor Arch the single point of entry - corresponding to the Irish Arch on the south façade. This returns the Quad to its original Victorian concept, creating a greater sense of enclosure and collegiality.

The main entrance to the new building lies on the axis between Lanyon North and the Lynn Building and opens directly into the hub, which is light and airy with clear sight of the upper floors and the adjoining PFC. New landscaping will enhance the area, particularly between the Lynn and the Lanyon buildings which is presently used as a car park. Some of the parking space will be replaced with paving and landscaped surfaces, and ground lighting will highlight entrance routes and illuminate building façades.

In accordance with the University’s commitment to sustainability, the building is being designed to achieve a Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) ‘Excellent’ rating.

To minimise the impact of building works, most of the demolition will be done during summers 2014 and 2015, once teaching has finished.  In the case of exams, Graduation, Open Days, and UCAS clearing etc, a number of measures are included in the works contracts to manage the impact. These include specified “quiet days” when no drilling, demolitions etc can take place; controlled noise levels; and restricted working hours.

Currently, demolition works to the PFC have resulted in the temporary loss of five car parking spaces in the Administration car park (bottom of steps, PFC east elevation) from Saturday 2 May until Monday 21 September 2015. The access steps, adjacent to the PFC and Administration building, are also closed; alternative routes are signposted and are shown here. The steps will re-open for Graduation, Thursday 2 July to Wednesday 8 July.