UEA approves plans for new teaching building The Sky House
Artist's impression of The Sky House, subject to planning permission. Image produced by LSI Architects.
The University of East Anglia (UEA) has approved plans for a new home for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities that also unlocks the Grade II-listed Lasdun Wall for refurbishment over the next decade.
The Sky House will become home to Arts and Humanities and some Social Sciences schools from 2022. The new building will allow staff and students to move out of the Lasdun Wall and enable the start of the phased refurbishment of the Historic England-listed 1960s block.
The Sky House will be located on a site at the end of the Lasdun Wall, across from the Registry, and will act as a new main reception point for the UEA campus.
The c. £65 million The Sky House will include:
- general purpose teaching and seminar spaces
- flexible informal learning spaces
- language learning lab
- drama studios
- rehearsal spaces
- screening room
- café facilities
- faculty and school offices
- provision for HUM PGR community
- a new reception point for the University
- learning and teaching hub
The development of The Sky House is the key to unlocking the Lasdun Wall’s major refurbishment. The Lasdun Wall, completed in 1970, is listed by Historic England for its special architectural and historic interest but is at the end of its design life. Very significant investment in the Lasdun Wall is now needed to ensure it is safe, secure and fit for the future needs of UEA staff and students.
UEA Vice-Chancellor Professor David Richardson said: “Investing in our UEA campus means investing in our people and the spaces they need to work, learn, study and teach both now and in the future. The Sky House will be the new gateway to UEA for visitors and provide collaborative and communal working spaces for our staff and students.”
Under the UEA 2030 Vision and Plan a total of £300 million is being invested in facilities for staff and students on UEA’s campus in order to enable our people to work, learn, teach and study in spaces that better meet today’s and tomorrow’s needs.
Later this summer, significant enabling works will need to take place to start getting The Sky House site ready for construction in Spring 2020. Those works are likely to involve:
- changing the road layout around the site
- removing c. 300 car park spaces in the main car park
- changing the main car park entrance layouts
- relocating the cycle parking currently next to Founders Green
- removing around 85 trees from the site and replanting more trees elsewhere
- relocating footpaths and bus stops
- demolishing the Lodge
- putting in new services including electricity, heating, water, and data
Please see the YouTube video for the site layout. Subject to planning permission, the enabling works for The Sky House will get underway from this autumn. The enabling works will be managed as sensitively as possible and mitigation; e.g. for every tree that is lost another two trees will be planted on campus.
One of the major changes will be to the road layout and main car park. As part of lowering UEA’s carbon footprint, our Travel Plan aims to encourage people not to drive to campus but to use more environmentally sustainable types of travel such as the free Park & Ride, the Park and Stride, car sharing and/or cycling or walking.
The reduction of c. 300 spaces in the main car park is line with the UEA Travel Plan which has already successfully reduced journeys by cars to campus. More staff than ever before are also taking more environmentally-friendly options like walking, cycling, using the Park and Stride, or the free Park & Ride bus service to UEA from Costessey.
A public consultation event on the proposals for The Sky House is being held at UEA on Thursday 6 June in the foyer of the Enterprise Centre on UEA campus (opposite the Sportspark car park) from 4pm to 7pm. (Please note that this venue has changed from the Council Chamber)