Associated Architects was appointed following a limited competition to complete the third phase of development of this global elite institution. The school is to expand and adapt its facilities to offer stimulating new teaching spaces together with transformational facilities for staff, associates and visitors. The project further raised its profile and includes best sustainable practice, achieving BREEAM ‘excellent’ and an Energy Performance Rating of A.
The extension to the south of the site is designed to form a new entrance more closely orientated to the heart of the campus and to create a fresh, contemporary image. The geometry of the existing building is continued, but a new lecture theatre component used to form a ‘knuckle’ in the plan defining a new atrium and visual break between the present school and a new, higher wing. The two lecture theatres are combined in a metal clad drum that forms a curved atrium with a four storey void: this is reflected in a complementary curved metal seminar room pod on the other side of the space.
Two new wings of accommodation house open plan staff offices, an undergraduate suite, post-graduate teaching spaces and a behavioural science laboratory. A cafeteria at ground floor has access to an external courtyard and the Dean’s office is located at fourth floor with views across to the adjacent lake. New landscape to the south provides an appropriate setting for a prominent double height entrance. The four storey north wing connects into the existing building, with circulation to replicate the loops on its western side. This is constructed in the same render with red brick details so that it is seen as a final element of existing form. The new wing has five storeys with a white brick frame, red brick in the lower levels re-interpreting the original elements: metal panels are introduced into the frame to cloak floor edges, with matching ventilation grilles.
The new building is set to match the existing floor to floor dimensions of 3.15m: this has provided challenges both for structure and building services. A concrete frame is used for each of the 12.0m wide wings and distribution for air is provided vertically in ducts integrated with the external walls: to the south these are used to provide depth in the elevation, shading the glazing to limit solar heat gain and glare. Mixed mode ventilation is employed to allow the occupants to open windows when external conditions are favourable.