South Bank University looks to transform St George’s Circus with new campus, including library run by robots

Owen Sheppard (31 August, 2017) Education Regeneration

New buildings will include theatre and gallery space, as well as lecture facilities and a state-of-the-art library where robots pick out the books

18833Artist's impression of the interior of the proposed new St George's Quarter, for the London South Bank University's campus expansion

London South Bank University’s has unveiled plans to expand its Elephant and Castle campus in St George’s Quarter, including a library to be run by robots.

The plans, drawn up by WilkinsonEyre architects, include a new learning centre, a gallery and performing-arts theatre and a creative design centre.

The project will includes plans to:

  • Refurbish the façade of the listed Victorian chapel on Borough Road and transform it into a performing arts centre which will become a creative space, for students’ and community use
  • Provide two new lecture theatres, new study spaces and a student support centre
  • A large exhibition space to showcase students’ work
  • Construct three new landscaped publically accessible spaces, helping to significantly increase the amount and quality of public space within the campus and provide space for pop-up events
  • Create a library and Learning Resources Centre, including a fully-automated book storage and retrieval system, enabling students to order their books online and then have them drawn off the shelves by a specially designed robot ‘librarian’

Ian Mehrtens, the university’s chief operating officer said: “The neighbouring area around Elephant and Castle is fast transforming itself into a world class hub for education and business within central London.  At LSBU our priority is to ensure that the University doesn’t get left behind.

“We want to be able to offer 21st century facilities to future generations of LSBU students, in attractively laid out surroundings.

“We see Wilkinson Eyre’s new plans for St George’s Quarter as forming very much a part of Southwark’s neighbourhood plan for the area. We hope that local residents will find the proposals to be welcoming, sympathetic and an attractive addition to their local area, but we are very keen to hear your feedback before we submit our planning application.”

A public exhibition will run from September 4-23 for local residents to view the plans and provide feedback, which will be submitted to Southwark Council’s planning officers.

September 22, from 10am-6pm at the Clarence Centre for Enterprise and Innovation in St George’s Circus.

The project’s design team will also be on hand to answer questions on the following dates: September 4 (12-2pm), September 9 (10am-1pm), and September 14 (5-7pm), for residents to take a look at the plans.

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