The University of Reading has unveiled a temporary structure sponsored by the Shanly Group as part of a ceremony led by celebrity architect Piers Taylor and the School of Architecture faculty. The Shanly Group has partnered up with the university as part of its 50th anniversary.
The structure, which is a timber frame with lightweight polycarbonate cladding, has been designed by the university's second-year School of Architecture students, who are required to complete a practical assignment as part of their curriculum.
Entitled 'The Urban Room', the structure serves as a place where the University and the local community can gather to talk about architecture and placemaking. The construction of The Urban Room was supervised by Piers Taylor, an affiliate of the university and co-host of the popular BBC Two show 'The World's Most Extraordinary Homes'. Piers Taylor's architectural practice Invisible Studio Architects working with timber specialists Xylotek, has provided guidance to the students throughout the design and construction process.
The Urban Room will remain on the university premises until 25 June and will be featured as part of the School of Architecture's end-of-year show. Following that, it will be relocated to Badgemore Primary School in Henley-on-Thames, where it will be used as a teaching shelter for the forest school. The forest school is designed to encourage and inspire pupils through positive outdoor experiences, whereby they initiate their own activities and direct their own learning.
Tamra Booth, Operations Director at the Shanly Group, said: "We are delighted to form a partnership with the University of Reading that will help to support some of the industry's most promising upcoming architects and designers who will be creating the homes and communities of the future. Enabling the next generation of architects to get practical experience is vital to the house building sector. It has been fantastic to see the great work the students have done with The Urban Room and is no doubt a testament to their hard work and talent."
Lorraine Farrelly, Head of Architecture at the University of Reading, said:"Shanly Group's sponsorship of the structure has been important in enabling our students to put their skills into practice, ensuring they get hands-on experience before leaving university. We are very excited about our series of collaborations with the Shanly Group, enriching the experience of our students and supporting us to make architecture accessible to all."
The Shanly Group has supported the University of Reading structure as part of a series of collaborations with the institution and the School of Architecture, which also includes sponsoring a student-led public lecture series 'Making Architecture Making communities', launched in January 2019.
The Shanly Group is proud to be celebrating 50 years in the property industry. The Buckinghamshire-based company has built a strong foundation and reputation through building homes and communities since its inception in 1969. Through a series of events, local community initiatives and charitable activities, Shanly is celebrating its legacy over the course of the year.