The Hive has not been sensibly designed

First published in Letters

SIR – I entirely agree with Dr Malcolm Nixon ‘It was another frustrating visit to the Hive’ (Worcester News, November 19).

I also profoundly sympathise with students who find it too noisy to work (Worcester News, November 16).

I, too, raised the question of the suitability of the Hive environment as a place for study while on another preopening tour and was given a similarly naïve answer to the one Dr Nixon received.

The concept of a multifunction university and community building may be an attractive one, but in practical terms it needs to be sensibly designed.

The Hive is not sensibly designed. The difficulties associated with the mix of users go beyond teething troubles, though such are likely to be claimed, I suspect, by those who wish to play down what are, in effect, fundamental design faults.

How on earth could such an expensive and important project come to be developed without adequate attention being given to noise levels in an open-plan building?

It is especially astonishing that senior academics, who presumably gave advice on design, do not appear to have insisted upon students’ need for quiet being a priority.

The idea that self-policing would be a sufficient way of controlling noise is ludicrous.

In the real world of the 21st century, most of us are all too well aware that noise is a way of life for some people and, moreover, it has been known from time immemorial that young children can be happily boisterous, even when parents do make some effort to control them.

Let us hope that a practical and radical solution can be found to the Hive’s noise problems; it needs to be found urgently for the sake of the students who should not have to suffer the consequences of inept design, academic naivety and incredible optimism.

Dr ERIC H JONES

Malvern

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