An inspirational new space for teaching and learning has been created in one
of the top architectural libraries in the world - the British Architectural
Library (BAL), at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)
Opening next month (3 April 2007), the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and
Learning through Design (CETLD) Bene Education Room creates new possibilities
in the way the BALs collections of over four million photographs, drawings
and books can be accessed. A unique educational resource, the room will adapt
to provide a place for students to study together and lecturers to develop collections-based
learning. It will also be available as a social space for newly qualified architects
to discuss ideas, and as a location for film screenings for up to 30 people.
Designed primarily as an active teaching resource by the RIBAs in-house
architect, Martin Pascoe, the CETLD Bene Education Room is a flexible space
which can transform from a seminar room to a studio with projection facilities;
state-of-the-art resources include magnetic walls, interactive boards, video
conferencing equipment, and computers with the latest CAD technology. Furnishings,
generously provided by the innovative office and interiors expert Bene, also
enliven the space.
The room has been primarily funded by the CETLD partnership between the RIBA
with the University of Brighton, the Royal College of Art, and the Victoria
and Albert Museum. CETLD receives its funding from the Higher Education Funding
Council for England and aims to enhance learning and teaching in design through
research that brings together resources and expertise from Higher Education
and collections-based partners.
Dr. Irena Murray, Sir Banister Fletcher Director of the RIBA British Architectural
Library and Co-director of CETLD said:
The new CETLD Bene Education Room might be small in size, but it will
have a huge impact in stimulating collection-based learning, providing opportunities
for shaping great ideas and creating a physical and virtual space for joined-up
thinking. It will help students, architects and the public engage more directly
with every type of material, from Renaissance treatises, nineteenth-century
photographs of buildings and landscapes, to drawings and sound recordings of
talks by Royal Gold Medallists. It will bring our collections to far flung classrooms
through the new video-conferencing system and in turn benefit from group debate
and critical thinking anywhere in the country. The space will also enable the
collections to serve as an inspiration for creating new work in situ using the
latest CAD technology. The opportunities are limitless.
We are very grateful to our CETLD partners for their support. Working
with such diverse institutions as the University of Brighton, the V&A and
the RCA makes the benefits of creating, teaching and documenting good design
much more explicit. The furniture provided by Bene exemplifies it.
The opening of the education room marks yet another step in making the
British Architectural Library a space to think creatively about our environment,
its representation and its significance in time.
The launch event on Tuesday 3 April will showcase many of the Librarys
treasures. It will also be a chance to find out about many of the Librarys
latest developments, including the How We Built Britain website, produced by
the RIBA in partnership with the BBC; the premier of a film about CETLD; as
well as demonstrations of the rooms facilities. Speeches will be given
by Director for the CETLD, Anne Boddington; Chair of the RIBA Trust, Baroness
Blackstone, and RIBA President, Jack Pringle. The event will also double as
the launch of an architectural film club which will use the space for screenings.