Creating the Spark at Southampton Solent University

Creating the Spark at Southampton Solent University

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On 8 June, Ian Pratt shall be speaking for CIAT Yorkshire in conjunction with Leeds Beckett University for a Professional Development Day on ‘Creating the Spark at Southampton Solent University.’

In this case study presentation, Ian will be providing an overview of the project along with insights into: The briefing and design development process; Procurement arrangements; Key challenges overcome and opportunities created; The approach taken to achieve BREEAM ‘Excellent’; Creative ways BIM was used for design testing / refinement; The concept for the Pod, the technical design, pre-fabrication and installation processes; The innovative approach taken to CDM 2015.


The completion of the Spark in May 2016 marked the culmination of a 4 year journey to identify, inform, illustrate and deliver Southampton Solent University’s vision for teaching and learning on its city centre campus. This £33 million project was conceived as an academic hub and a showcase for innovation and achievement. It was also a vehicle for institutional change which has completely transformed the student, staff and visitor experience – achieving major pedagogical changes and revolutionising space management, monitoring, utilisation. The design brings together 10,000m² of formal and informal space for learning, teaching, work and play around an impressive, full-height atrium space with a stunning ‘Solent Red’ pod at its centre – promoting interdisciplinary activity and interaction between students, academics, visitors and the general public.


The Spark Building which was shortlisted for the ‘Quality Places’ category at the Solent Design Awards and the ‘People’s Choice Award’  is considered a ‘game-changing’ design and an academic hub enabling staff and students to see and share their learning and teaching experiences, knowledge and research. The Spark Building is the latest addition to the University’s city centre campus and is part of their £100 million campus development plan, due for completion in 2020.

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