The architecture promotes collaboration and conversation between researchers
Studio Libeskind and Garbers & James for Durham University
Contract value: £11.5m
In a universe that we struggle to comprehend, the Ogden Centre brings together some of Europe’s finest minds to collaborate. The architecture has led to a palpable change in habit, promoting collaboration and conversation between researchers. The triple height multi-layered atrium space is perfectly scaled for ad-hoc conversations, formal meetings or the daily ritual where staff and students gather for coffee and informal idea exchange. Rooms are configured in a way that removes the visual constraints of the traditional academic corridor.
Internal spaces are joyful, while the outside is striking if hard to read as a response to context or function. But the form creates an identity for the faculty that catches the attention of visitors and passers-by. Its long term value could be judged on the academic success of its faculty: but by changing working habits for the better, the building is a great success today.