Architectural Services Feasibility Study: University of Portsmouth St Michael’s Building

Project Details


The Science Faculty were interested in receiving proposals and approximate costings for alterations to St Michael’s Buildings. This should be preceded by an estimate of the cost of the initial consultation.

The main aims of the proposals were (i) primarily to identify ways in which a greater sense of community can be generated for those students who are ‘homed’ in the building and (ii) secondarily to review space utilisation with a view to considering whether this can be optimised.

The scope of the work encompassed both New St Michael’s Building and Old St Michael’s Building together with any related external spaces. These buildings house all of the School of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences (PHBM) except for a small research centre (the Centre for Molecular Design) which is currently moving from Mercantile House to King Henry Building; and the majority of staff and teaching accommodation of the School of Health sciences and Social Work (SHSSW). Some parts of SHSSW (administrative offices and the Healthcare Simulation suite plus some teaching rooms) are located in James Watson Building West. Part of Old SMB (level 1) is occupied by Biology labs and the Science Faculty Office is accommodated on level 1 of New SMB. Much of SMB is given over to lab space which is at a premium. Some areas are restricted access either on health and safety grounds or due to the sensitive nature of the work. New SMB was originally constructed for a much lower occupancy than at present and, other than entrances, corridors and a staff tea room that doubles up as a meetings room in a restricted area of floor 5 of SMB there were no communal spaces. The only facilities that are available for students are vending machines. In addition to PHBM and SHSSW students, a large number of other students access the teaching facilities in SMB, particularly the 150-seater lecture theatre (SM1.01).

The Client had concerns that the existing layout of the building was not conducive to a sense of community amongst students and did not engender a sense of ownership. The Client believed that this transfers to a reduced sense of ownership, particularly for the largest of our courses, the MPharm Hons Pharmacy. This is in contrast to several other sites around the university where there is a clear sense of ownership and this seems to be centred on communal spaces. The Client wanted advice as to how this problem can be addressed.

The Client had another concern; that there are increasing demands on lab and office space within SMB and were finding difficulty in meeting these with current configurations. Advice on more efficient use of the building so as to free up additional space is sought.
Short titleChanges to the St Michael's Building
Effective start/end date15/11/1128/02/12


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