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£65m Business School and 'Learning Exchange'

Published: 30th November 2007

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The stunning design for the new MMU Business School

MMU is investing £65 million in a new Business School and student ‘Learning Exchange’.

A site at All Saints is being cleared for the massive new building which designers say is at the "forefront of green development" in the city.

In a highly original concept, three towers will sit under a single glass roof, separated by two atria or arcades. The jewel-shaped building has glazed facades which refract colours that react to the changing patterns of the sun and daylight.

Solar panels on the large south-facing roof and ground source heat pumps will generate power for the building which is designed to let in the maximum amount of natural light. The building also recycles rain water and features an outdoor winter garden, as part of the University’s commitment to renewable energy and the environment*.

Over 5,000 students

The 20,000 square metre structure will be home to over 5,000 students and 250 staff from MMU’s Business School, one of the most popular business schools in the UK and an important part of Manchester’s financial and professional services sector.

Architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios have been appointed as designers for the School which will top eight storeys along the Mancunian Way and slope to four storeys at its entrance on Grosvenor Park.

It will house cross-faculty student services and general teaching space and features shops, cafes, social learning zones, IT drop-in spaces and conference facilities.

Feilden Clegg Bradley, who have won the Building Design Award for Education Architects for the past two years, believe the design fits the new model of 21st century learner who effortlessly blends study with leisure and socialising - "an environment which nurtures the social and intellectual needs of Manchester’s business students."

£250 million in new facilities

The massive investment in a new Business School and ‘Learning Exchange’ is part of the University’s strategy to concentrate its activities on three campuses; at Didsbury, Crewe and at Oxford Road, the largest higher education campus in Europe.

Overall the University has earmarked around £250 million for new facilities at the three sites, some of which is already being invested in laboratories, a new languages centre, new learning technologies and a temporarary refurbishment of the current Business School at Aytoun.

Professor Huw Morris, Dean of MMU Business School, said: "Not only will this development look fantastic, it promises to be a very intelligent blend of leisure space and learning space which suits modern learners in a digital age. The sustainable features will place the building at the forefront of green building development in Manchester."

Building work will start in 2009 and be completed in 2011.

*Vice-Chancellor Professor John Brooks recently declared that large institutions had "a moral duty to go beyond the environmental standards" of the Rio Declaration.

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Download the Business School and Student Hub/Exchange presentation.