Inspirational building supporting delivery of science and research
The internal layout is represented in the external massing with the large ‘wet’ lab expressed as a gold shingle box. The ‘dry’ and ‘e-labs’ are expressed via bespoke trapezoidal windows that have been parametrically designed to maximise daylight penetration into the plan.
Overall, the brief is complicated but the rigour to which it has been distilled and tested makes the end result exceptionally simple. The architect has rethought how such spaces operate to improve efficiency, allowing more lab time for the students of the 14 engineering departments involved. What’s more, for a building with such high energy usage, the scheme has achieved a BREEAM Excellent rating through a raft of integrated design decisions including heat recovery, high levels of airtightness, photovoltaic panels and linking to the university’s district heating CHP system.
Regional Building of the Year
Regional Project Architect of the Year: Alex Smith