Bisset Adams produced a feasibility report to explore various options for expanding and reconfiguring Birkbeck’s entire Malet Street estate. It had been identified that existing property offered a shortage of teaching and lecture theatre spaces identified as the main issue; there was also no room for expansion or flexibility for services, including library, catering and social spaces, along with the unsuitable condition of some of the existing estate. These issues, coupled with the lack of a strong identity for each of the recently formed Schools and the fragmented locality of each department across Birkbeck’s campus presented several obstacles to achieving a campus fully fit for purpose.
As part of the initial work, Bisset Adams carried out extensive consultation sessions with students, staff and various user groups, balancing the needs of various stakeholders to produce viable options. The key findings of the consultation sessions involved providing more, and better quality teaching spaces, with lecture theatres of a variety of sizes and with an increased space standard. With this in mind, Bisset Adams identified six sites for potential development with several scenarios for the university to consider.