Double skin for biological research building

Craig Auckland
Craig Auckland

It looks like the Bristol University campus has evolved a bit with its new Life Sciences building, designed by architect Sheppard Robson. Opened last month by Sir David Attenborough no less, the £56m building is, at 13,500m2, the university’s biggest construction project to date and is intended to create a world class centre for biological sciences research. Its distinctive Proteus facade, designed by KME Architectural, has a double skin: an inner sandwich panel watertight layer and an outer aluminium skin cladding the air ducts to the labs. As well as a living wall, it features a ‘GroDome’ on top of the building which can perfectly recreate tropical conditions. If only it had been around 150 years ago – it would have saved Darwin all that embuggeration on The Beagle.