New law centre too noisy, say students

A prestigious new law faculty at Cambridge University has run into problems over “unwelcome” noise levels which students claim makes it difficult to work in.

The university has commissioned an independent report to investigate the acoustics at the Cambridge University Law Faculty following the complaints about the building, designed by the architects Sir Norman Foster & Partners, which was opened in March last year.

First year law student Kuwant Thandi praised the facilities at the new complex but confirmed there were problems with the acoustics.

“The library is above the lecture halls so when lectures start or end you can hear every word spoken downstairs,” she said.

“It's hard to concentrate. I have to get all the information I need quickly and take it somewhere quiet to look at.”

A spokesperson for the architects, Sir Norman Foster & Partners, said it was concerned that its clients appeared to be unhappy with the building.

But, in a written statement, the architects claimed the problem could be resolved simply by the erection of sound screens.

The statement also claimed that a designated quiet area was being used for “receptions and other social events” for which it was not intended.

David Todd-Jones, director of estate management for the university, said that the erection of sound screens was only one of a number of possible solutions.