University of Leeds – Roger Stevens Building

Taking learning to new heights.

The Challenge: Create a space that inspires and encourages collaborative learning

The Details

Seating Solution: Plectrum table, height adjustable plectrum table, Montpellier seat with writing shelf.

Client: University of Leeds

Services Utilised: Bespoke Design, Technology Integration, Safety & Standards Guidance, Value Engineering

Working With: I&G contractors, ADP architects

University of Leeds…

…came back to Race Furniture, after the successful transformation of 3 lecture theatres in 2016, to create a version of the same product in 3 more of their lecture theatres in the iconic Roger Stevens Building. Focussing on the University’s determination to ‘build a fairer future for all’, ergonomics, posture and accessibility were key areas of importance. The university wanted to create a space that was inspiring and collaborative while also being accessible for all. To hit these requirements the client requested a combination of height adjustable tables and standard tables for each of the lecture theatres that also needed to have AV integrated. The full project required 12x seat places at the back of the hall with writing shelf, 9x standard tables and 2x height adjustable tables.

The Solution

A height adjustable table was a completely new product for Race Furniture, so a lot of research and development went in to creating the perfect solution. Utilising the connections of our colleagues within the wider group company, we worked with Linak to create smooth moving tables using their electric linear actuator solutions. Two prototypes were developed in the R&D stage, the first as proof of principle and the second with the corrections made. The software was customised to fit the clients requirements, with the table being able to sit between 710-910mm in height.

With the AV provisions we also integrated 2 wireless charging spots, speakers, microphones and laptops into the tables, allowing students to remain connected. A row of Montpellier seating was created at the back of the room with a writing shelf that also had integrated, retractable coat hooks.

The Outcome

With the smaller details such as the matching wall infills (also created by Race) and laptop holders upholstered in matching fabrics, the end result was a stunning success. Though, not without it’s challenges, as would be expected for a completely new product creation, the height adjustable table was a great new creation from Race and allowed us to explore new ways of working with computer programming, software development, and technological advancement.

Steve Gilley, Director of Estate & Facilities, University of Leeds said: “We listened to feedback from students about recently updated teaching spaces elsewhere in Roger Stevens and in Mechanical Engineering. The new lecture theatres reflect what they have told us they need, from simple additions like coat hooks and more space for bags to the exciting technology that encourages collaborative learning.”*

We can’t wait to hear the feedback from all using these new spaces.

*Quote taken from: https://estates.leeds.ac.uk/cd-news/roger-stevens-new-teaching-spaces-open/ 
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