Creating spaces in which to excel
Re-inventing traditional libraries and learning spaces, the Foundation helps students, academic leaders and local communities connect, collaborate, learn and excel.
University of Leeds
Opened in 2015, the Laidlaw Library is a dedicated undergraduate space boasting state of the art facilities. Winner of both regional and national RIBA awards for architectural excellence, the building offers students a contemporary study environment and an inspiring place to work. Hugely popular with students, since its opening visits to the University libraries have increased by over 45% to c.2.7m visits annually – and students have scored Leeds’ libraries top in the Russell Group in the National Student Survey for three years.
The Library has over 1,000 study spaces, including silent study desks, group rooms, and a range of social learning spaces. At the heart of the building is the Skills Zone, where students can access individual appointments with learning advisors, or attend workshops and drop-in sessions to improve their academic skills. The Library also features a ‘community classroom’, which welcomes diverse school and community groups as part of the University’s educational outreach activities.
University of Leeds
Following on the outstanding success of the Laidlaw Library, the Foundation is partnering with the University of Leeds to build an innovative Student Hub on the western part of campus – providing outstanding facilities to enhance teaching and learning, collaborative and interdisciplinary working, educational outreach activities, student entrepreneurship and careers support, personal development and challenge.
The flagship building, being designed by award winning architects, O’Donnell and Tuomey, will meet a critical need for a range of quiet study, social and peer learning spaces on the business and law school part of campus. It is intended as an inspirational space at the heart of the Western Campus, a “place to find people”, where diversity is embraced; a dynamic meeting place for students, staff, business mentors, alumni volunteers, visiting schoolchildren, community partners, visiting scholars and more.
“The University has a long-standing tradition of welcoming students from less well-off backgrounds to Leeds and helping them to achieve their potential. I am delighted that the Laidlaw Foundation is supporting the development of this building, which reflects my philosophy of education as a driver for social advancement.”
— Lord Laidlaw
Laidlaw Music Centre
University of St. Andrews
The new Laidlaw Music Centre provides a custom-built music centre in the heart of the University of St. Andrews, offering a full range of soundproofed, acoustically-appropriate practice, rehearsal, teaching, recording and performance spaces for everyone in the St. Andrews’ musical community can use. It employs the latest technologies, such as an automated floor that consists of 86 electronically controlled sections which allows it to configure any form of staging and seating required for different sized ensembles.
The new building occupies a site to the south west of the Bute building and to the east of St Regulus Hall, linking through to St Mary’s Quadrangle and onto South Street. Situated close to the Byre Theatre, the two buildings create a vibrant, cultural quarter in the town.
Laidlaw Teaching and Leadership Centre
Sedgefield Community College
A state-of-the-art new Teaching and Leadership Centre is being designed in partnership with Durham University at Sedgefield Community College. As well as providing much needed additional classroom space for the College, it will become the teacher training hub for Durham University’s PGCE secondary-teacher-training students; enabling them to learn from Subject Leaders in the immersive setting of an Outstanding School.
The building will look to challenge conventional thinking on circulation, break-out and flexible design. The multi-functional spaces will be used for collaborative learning, performances, and examinations for students, as well as being the centre for teaching and learning leadership development for current and future NE Schools Leaders.