University of Reading Malaysia: a building for the future
Release Date 25 February 2016
The launch of the University of Reading Malaysia (UoRM) and Henley Business School Malaysia today brings together cutting-edge teaching, learning and social facilities, in a state-of-the-art, purpose-built campus. Based in EduCity@Iskandar, Johor, the 30,000 square metre site is made up of two buildings, centred around a central atrium known as the ‘Heartspace' - inspired by the University's Whiteknights home campus in Reading, UK. All teaching areas are flexible and available to be used for every subject, rather than being divided under departmental control - meaning it is suitable for teaching a cross-section of the University's academic disciplines taught in Malaysia, including business, finance, psychology, quantity surveying and real estate. In all, the campus has the long-term capacity for 3,000 students. Trevor Hawkins, Director of Estates and Facilities, UoRM, said: "We are immensely proud of our new building. It is a state-of-the-art showcase for what we can achieve with sustainable design combined with innovative, flexible teaching; cutting edge research facilities; and great student social spaces". The Heartspace is a bright, airy green, plant-filled space for students to relax and socialise in, with an amphitheatre for talks, live music and major events - with lightweight bridges suspended from the roof. Key features of the teaching wings include fully equipped laboratories, a learning resource centre, and four lecture theatres. There is also a functioning modern financial dealing room, a psychology suite and a student recreation area for relaxing and socialising. The campus' roof comprises of large inflated ‘cushions' which allow natural light through for plant growth while also providing shade - with a natural air movement system that draws cooler air from the building's undercroft. Work on the campus started in 2011 by international design practice Scott Brownrigg. Five different sites were evaluated before a concept was agreed for a key area beside the main EduCity entrance in 2012. The site was levelled, removing a large hill and its rock base, in early 2013 - with 600,000 tonnes of earth removed before construction began in August 2013. The building was completed by July 2015 and following the installation of information technology and audio-visual equipment, as well as furniture and fixtures, the building opened its doors to students in September 2015. The design for the campus made the finals in the World Architecture Festival Awards 2013. It is a 40-minute drive from Singapore International Airport and 20 minutes from Johor International Airport. To watch the Ceremony of Inauguration on YouTube, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-KW06gTThc For more, visit the University of Reading Malaysia website: www.reading.edu.my or Facebook page: www.facebook.com/universityofreadingmalaysia.