- Higher Education

University of York Professional Services Hub: A flexible post-pandemic workspace

University of York

Higher Education



Jon Roylance

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This project, a professional services hub for the University of York, has been run as a prototype workspace to accommodate staff returning to work post-pandemic. Our PSS hub will also assist with the development of the university’s strategy for an “activity based” work location.

Approach + Solution

Through the pandemic we have developed a “third space” concept which looks at redefining the student/academic/staff work spaces to create more efficient teaching and work space to provide a “more than the sum of its parts” third space. This provides an area and facilities to promote collaboration, development, research and interaction and encourage new ways of working.

This concept has been brought to the University of York in the Professional Services Hub to test the ideas and work with staff with a view to potentially roll out across the campus. The design incorporates a central collaboration ribbon with work desks on either side. To support the hot desk arrangement, there has been additional meeting, group, social and refreshment spaces included. We also incorporated sufficient storage and locker provision for personal belongings. We worked closely with a furniture supplier to include meeting pods and “Zoom booths” to facilitate staff having private space to work. The area is small but is a test bed of numerous facilities, with integrated IT provisions being developed with the University IT team.

“"I would like to thank you all for the delivery of the new PSS Hub. I think you have all done a great job to deliver a creative work environment for the University of York. It shows how well things can go with collaboration and teamwork.

I am sure we will work together again in the future."”

– Rebecca Barnfather, Principal Architect, Estates development, University of York