As part of fulfilling an interim management role at King's College London, we led a project to design the University's new student support services hub.
The new space covered two floors of the South East Wing of the iconic Bush House building. Bush House is the former home of the BBC World Service, sitting at the heart of London at the point where Strand, Kingsway and Aldwych meet.
Plans were already drawn up in relation to the space by the time our involvement began. However, it was clear that the design did not allow for any growth in student-facing services and also limited the ability of the different specialist support teams to work together and use the space flexibly.
The project involved working closely with the University's main Bush House project team, architects and others, such as furniture consultants and designers, to make some significant changes to the plans.
We devised a new set of guiding principles, on which to base the new plans - principles such as welcoming other student-facing teams to make use of this new space for student-facing activities - to minimise the 'bouncing' of students from one location to another in order to have their enquiry resolved.
The differing space needs of the specialist support teams (such as the Counselling & Mental Health Team, the Advice & Guidance Team, the Disability & Dyslexia Team, and the University's frontline enquiry service for students) had to be carefully balanced against the need for efficiently utilised and flexible spaces.
In particular, there was a need to review the space plans to ensure a clear differentiation between 'front of house' space, where students would come and go freely to interact with the support teams, and 'back of house' space, where the teams could focus on student-facing work that did not involve face-to-face contact with students.
The result is a collection of spaces that brings to life a vision of an agile and future-proofed home for the student-facing teams at King's – a space that will develop and flex as the University's services evolve, and which places the student at the heart of the design.
We have provided some photographs of the new space below. Contact us for more information about this project.