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Plans for QM’s new Graduate Centre take shape

Friday 31 January 2014

Detailed plans have now been endorsed within QM for a major new building for postgraduate students, providing state-of-the-art teaching, study, social and IT space at the Mile End campus. The architects for the building, which will include a completely new home for the School of Economics and Finance, are the leading firm, Wilkinson Eyre, who also designed the ArtsTwo building at the Mile End campus.

Discussion with key stakeholders involved in the project takes place this month and a public consultation and planning application will begin in June 2014, so the plans are not yet final. Construction is expected to start in September 2014, with the building open in time for the 2016 academic year.

The Graduate Centre – to be built between Bancroft Road and the People's Palace – will provide 24-hour work areas tailored specifically to the needs and working patterns of postgraduates.

A 200-seat lecture theatre, seminar rooms, reception area with terrace, student enterprise ‘hub’, landscaped courtyard and office space are among the building’s features. Some 7,700 square metres of academic and teaching space will be built. The building will incorporate a ground-floor café and a welcome and registration centre for postgraduate students.

As well as a work-base for taught and research students, the building will provide ample space for socialising and interaction amongst students, encouraging idea generation and collaboration.

The School of Economics and Finance will have a completely new home in the building, which will incorporate a ‘mock trading floor’, while space previously utilised in the Queens’ Building by the School will be used by IT Services.

Professor Philip Ogden, who is overseeing the project on behalf of the QM Senior Executive, explains: “We’re very excited about this latest stage in the creation of a state-of-the-art Graduate Centre. It’s a major step on the long-term development of the campus.

'Not only will it help strengthen postgraduate recruitment to Queen Mary, and greatly improve the facilities on offer to a growing postgraduate community across the institution, it will also help to consolidate further our position amongst the leading UK universities'.

Professor Morag Shiach, Vice-Principal (Humanities and Social Sciences) said: “Our recruitment of postgraduate students is looking very strong across HSS, so it’s good to know that the development of the new Graduate Centre is progressing well and we will have sufficient facilities for our growing numbers of postgraduate students. This building will transform the campus and will provide learning, study and social spaces for postgraduate students across Queen Mary as well as a new home for the very rapidly growing School of Economics and Finance.”

QM first announced plans for the Graduate Centre back in February 2013. While these plans for the Graduate Centre originally included accommodation facilities, residential space has been removed from the final design and replaced by more much-needed academic space. A different solution for increasing student accommodation is currently being discussed.

The former IRC and Post-Room will be demolished as part of this scheme, with the post-room moving to the Temporary Building.

More information will be published that will provide more detail on the schedule of works and any expected disruption.

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