Boyd Orr Lecture Theatre 1. Boyd Orr Building University Avenue, Glasgow Refurbishment Project August 2009. crgp limited – architects. Estates & Buildings – Project Services. The Project.
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Boyd Orr Building
University Avenue, Glasgow
crgp limited – architects
Estates & Buildings – Project Services
Lecture Theatre 1 in the Boyd Orr Building has the largest seating capacity of all the University of Glasgow’s lecture theatres and the facility is much in demand for a wide range of lectures and events for both students and on occasions the general public.
While the information technology systems within the lecture theatre had been updated over the years the interior finishes had not. The lecture theatre was showing its age!
The refurbishment provided the opportunity not only to install the latest information technology and improve the pedagogical flexibility of use but also to create a new contemporary identity for the space.
Furthermore, the refurbishment allowed for updating the lecture theatres existing fire strategy by the inclusion of an additional protective lobby.
Also recommended was a wheelchair refuge space and call point.
The heavy concrete constructional form of the Boyd Orr Building precluded any significant alteration to the configuration of the lecture theatre other than removing the outmoded rear projection room.
The excellent acoustics of the original lecture theatre have been retained by the use of perforated wallboards which, in addition to the sound control qualities, give the wall a pattern and texture that contributes towards the contemporary ambience of the refurbished theatre.
The free flowing form of the original suspended three dimensional ceiling has been retained and its form enhanced by the use of a restrained colour difference between walls and ceiling and the retained shadow gap.
The University is constantly seeking ways that allow flexibility of use and, as a consequence, increase utilisation. The potential for interactive group working, pioneered at the recent Adam Smith lecture theatre refurbishment, has been replicated at the Boyd Orr Building.
Fig.1 - Seating arrangement
The performance of the existing heating and ventilation system was optimised by carrying out a comprehensive overhaul coupled with adjustments to the control systems to maximise performance.
Secondary glazing was fitted to the two side windows to reduce heat loss and improve acoustics. Black out blinds were fitted. The opportunity was taken to display the logo of the University of Glasgow on these blinds to badge the theatre particularly as many of the users are from out with the University.
Fig. 2 - Visualisation of lecture theatre & proposed blackout blinds
The lecture theatre is equipped with two number column boards with vertical sliding white board writing surfaces and with wall mounted projection screens behind served by ceiling mounted projectors.
A third column board is positioned adjacent to the Teaching Table to provide a writing surface for use when the projection facility is in use.
Two monitor screens are provided to relay the projector output to assist those seated at the rear of the theatre.
All the audio visual and information technology software within the lecture theatre is controlled from the teaching desk as are the variable scene setting lighting controls.
The theatre is equipped with infrared hearing assistance and WI-FI technology
Fig.3 - Arrangement of screens and whiteboards at front of lecture theatre.
Fig.4 - Visualisation at front of lecture theatre
The refurbished lecture theatre has a seating capacity of 306. Dual directional seats for 22 persons result in 54 persons having the potential to work in groups. Data and power links provide the facility for these groups to interact with the lecture theatre audio visuals facilities.
Seating for two ambulant disabled persons and one wheelchair user are provided.
The teaching table or lectern which houses the controls for the audio visual systems within the lecture theatre has a height variable control which allows the table to be adjusted to suit the working height of a seated or standing lecturer.
The teaching table also accommodates the scene setting lighting controls which allows lighting levels to be varied to suite the event being staged.
Fig.5 - Proposed Teaching Lectern
The pallet of finishes selected for the lecture theatre was purposely chosen for impact and, just as importantly, for ease of maintenance and replacement. The lecture theatre will receive heavy and robust usage and must be able to be “freshened up” at minimum costs.
The University of Glasgow corporate blue has been the basis of colour selection for the interior walls, floor and seating.
The regular pattern of the perforated wall boarding has been contrasted by the random blue colour shade variation in the upholstery of the seating. This approach to the colour of the seating will assist with the inevitable piecemeal repair or replacement.
Fig.6 - Teaching Wall - Prior to Works
Fig.7 - Teaching Wall – After Refurbishment
The simply painted blue/grey colour of the walls emphasis the free form nature of the plain white painted “floating” ceiling.
The floor covering comprises short pile lightly patterned dark blue carpet tiles selected for mobility and ease of replacement.
Light oak has been adopted for all internal joinery and the writing ledges. This understated timber harmonises with the strong blue tones of the theatre’s other finishes.
The before and after photographs illustrate the major transformation that has taken place and the dynamism and vigour that has been introduced to the refurbished Boyd Orr Lecture Theatre 1.
Fig. 8 & 9 - Boyd Orr Lecture Theatre 1 - Prior to Works Commencing
Fig.10 & 11 - Boyd Orr Lecture Theatre 1 – Refurbished Lecture Theatre