Transformation of lecture theatres, Blackett 113 and RSM 147

Two lecture theatres, Blackett 113 and RSM 147, were stripped out during summer 2019 and renovated as part of a long-term project to improve learning and teaching spaces across the College. 

There has been significant investment in the transformation, heralded by College for the considerable ownership and involvement of staff and students in influencing the design. The improvements are not only aimed at providing flexible use for a far wider variety of learning and teaching for current students, but to meet the needs and expectations of students for decades to come.

The lecture theatre transformations have also improved accessibility. Many will think of physical disabilities when accessibility is mentioned. They recognise obvious changes to environments such as the inclusion of ramps, and hearing induction loops. A move from the old ‘chalk and talk’ layouts towards different methods of engaging with students in the teaching environment also addresses the needs of students with ‘hidden’ disabilities, such as autism and dyslexia.

The renovated lecture theatres include features that follow 'accessibility by design' principles. For example: multiple wheelchair places in lecture theatres providing those in wheelchairs choice of where they wish to sit; entry ramps; wall partitions; AV solutions to help lip reading and sign language interpretation software; and power and data points at all seats; high contrast between objects such as carpets and chairs for those with sight impairment.