We are pleased to say that we mark the completion of our first project for the University of Southampton. This ambitious endeavor involved converting a former bookshop into a vibrant base for the prestigious Zepler Institute; which, with an interdisciplinary approach, brings together researchers in photonics, electronics and computer science, life sciences, engineering, and medicine, fostering collaboration and groundbreaking discoveries.
The transformation was a comprehensive overhaul of an existing retail space. The entire area was stripped out and refitted to accommodate a diverse range of functions and areas, setting the stage for an environment that would inspire creativity and collaboration.
One of the key elements of the redesign was the creation of a new entrance area. The original shop entrance, facing south into the campus, underwent a significant enlargement. Additionally, the internal staircase was rotated by 180 degrees, strategic modifications which not only provided the Zepler Institute with its own distinct identity, but also directed its focus toward the academic center of the campus. The design choice showcases the university’s commitment to nurturing an environment that fosters cutting-edge research and innovation.
The revamped space boasts two highly flexible demonstration areas. These dynamic spaces serve as platforms to showcase the wide variety of smart technologies developed by the department. Researchers can utilise these state-of-the-art facilities to exhibit their groundbreaking advancements and collaborate with industry partners. The versatility of these demonstration spaces ensures that they can adapt to the ever-evolving needs of the Institute, encouraging constant experimentation and exploration.
Furthermore, the majority of the first floor was reconfigured to provide fresh, open, and collaborative research office spaces. Recognizing the importance of an inspiring work environment, Associated Architects aimed to foster a culture of creativity and interdisciplinary collaboration. By providing researchers with an uplifting workspace, the Zepler Institute enables the exchange of ideas, propelling groundbreaking discoveries forward.
The completion of the Zepler Institute’s new base exemplifies the institution’s dedication to cutting-edge research and innovation. The transformative design has breathed new life into a former bookshop, creating a dynamic research hub that facilitates collaboration and pushes the boundaries of knowledge. As the Zepler Institute continues to make remarkable advancements in various fields, this new facility stands as a testament to the university’s commitment to providing cutting-edge spaces that nurture interdisciplinary collaboration and propel groundbreaking research forward.