University of Portsmouth's new £135m 'eco-friendly' building will be equipped with a rooftop restaurant overlooking city and hi-tech lecture halls

SWANKY lecture halls and a rooftop restaurant with stunning views of Portsmouth are just some of the new additions to a university’s proposed £135m ‘eco’ building – which is now in the hands of city planners.

By Tom Cotterill
Friday, 27th August 2021, 12:10 pm
Updated Friday, 27th August 2021, 12:11 pm
The rooftop restaurant in the new university building which will be open to the public and have stunning views of Portsmouth's skyline. Photo: University of Portsmouth
The rooftop restaurant in the new university building which will be open to the public and have stunning views of Portsmouth's skyline. Photo: University of Portsmouth

The University of Portsmouth has formally submitted its planning application to Portsmouth City Council for its new ‘landmark’ academic hub on the site of the former Victoria Swimming Pool, adjacent to Victoria Park in Portsmouth’s city centre.

The striking new centre will be equipped with large spaces for teaching, research and innovation and will house the university’s faculty of business and law and its humanities and social sciences department.

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The striking exterior of the university's new city centre building. Photo: University of Portsmouth

Pictures of the proposed enhancements, revealed for the first time today, show the stunning interior of the two, triple-height atriums.

New facilities inside the state-of-the-art centre include a 500-seat lecture theatre, two 250 seat lecture theatres, a courtroom, rooftop restaurant and terrace which will be open to the public.

Designed to be environmentally friendly, the building hopes to be a ‘net zero carbon-ready’ site, making it one of the city’s most hi-tech buildings.

University chiefs have toted it as a ‘smart energy building’, meaning it is designed to ‘maximise natural light by enabling daylight deep into its heart’.

State-of-the-art lecture halls are also planned as part of the new eco-friendly facility in Portsmouth City Centre. Photo: University of Portsmouth

Professor Graham Galbraith, the university’s vice-chancellor, said the building would be an ‘asset to the city’, adding: ‘If we are granted planning approval, this will be a stunning landmark building designed for the future with flexible spaces for teaching, research and collaboration.

‘We have set out to ensure that the design and landscaping complement the sensitive parkland setting and also that it has high standards of environmental sustainability.’

Photovoltaic panels cover the angled roof, producing renewable power and the high performing façade will manage heat and light. The perimeter landscaping will be sown with wildflowers to develop biodiversity.

The design also proposes plans for improved connectivity into the park and the city. This includes opening up a railway tunnel to create a new public gateway from Portsmouth Guildhall.

The planning application has been submitted after an extensive consultation programme discussing the design detail with staff, students and stakeholders.

If planning consent is given in the autumn, work can start in spring 2022 for a target completion in 2024.

Proposed design plans are available at

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