James McCune Smith Learning Hub, University of Glasgow

Glasgow, United Kingdom

The University of Glasgow began an ambitious expansion programme in 2017 that saw the creation of a new state-of-the-art learning and technology-enabled teaching hub.

James McCune Learning HubThe Hub opened in April 2021 and has been named after American abolitionist and medic James McCune Smith. McCune Smith is the first African American to be awarded a medical degree, gaining three qualifications from the University of Glasgow – a bachelor’s degree in 1835, a master’s degree in 1836, and his medical doctorate in 1837.

“The University of Glasgow is proud of our association with his legacy, and it is fitting that we honour it in the naming of this building. The new James McCune Smith Learning Hub will revolutionise how we deliver learning and teaching support and provide a world-class facility for generations of future students from around the world,” says Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow.

The £90.6 million new Learning Hub bestows modern and collaborative learning, providing undergraduate and postgraduate students with a diverse learning space and an enhanced student experience. Accommodating more than 2,500 students, the Hub includes a mixture of lecture theatres, small group rooms, breakout and study areas, providing flexibility and embracing new teaching pedagogies. It is the first new building being delivered through the University’s £1 billion Campus Development programme.

James McCune Learning HubHelvar provides full building control at the Hub, with the Helvar Cloud Gateway being installed to ensure cloud connectivity. An open protocol system was required to provide digital Lighting Control. DALI provides an open system which allows ease of installation, reliability, and is future-proof. All sensor and input devices were to be part of the same network as the luminaires. The system was required to be accessible to the University’s facility management team and report faults automatically and provide future connectivity options in line with the University of Glasgow’s Smart Campus ethos.

“The system has the wellbeing and comfort of occupants at the forefront of its design. With the added smart connectivity, the University can choose to utilise its API to integrate to other building systems, as well as physical integration with the AV system where necessary,” explains Raymund McGrath, Sales Manager, Helvar.

Photography: University of Glasgow


Key Facts

Completed: April 2021
Size: 16640m2
Main Contractor: Multiplex
Contractor: SES
Designer: WSP
Architect: HLM Architects
Lighting Distributor: Park Electrical

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Glasgow, United Kingdom