Rosalind Franklin Building, Wolverhampton Architecture Project, Interior Images
Rosalind Franklin Building in Wolverhampton
West Midlands Teaching and Research Facility design by Berman Guedes Stretton, England, UK
22 Jan 2016
Rosalind Franklin Building Wolverhampton News
Design: Berman Guedes Stretton Architects
Location: Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England
BGS blends new with the old to create cutting edge science building
Berman Guedes Stretton has completed a new 6250m2 state-of-the-art teaching and research facility for University of Wolverhampton. A partial demolition and extension to the existing science building has provided a contemporary home for the university’s growing chemistry courses while also freeing up space on the new South Campus for various uses.
The architect’s designs have delivered an additional three 90 person teaching laboratories, three 60 person project laboratories and a suite of research laboratories together with the necessary support facilities.
Externally the 5-storey building is a significant element in its surroundings as it defines one edge of the University’s South Campus courtyard and provides a public front on Stafford Street. Some of the original brickwork on the east and south facades have been combined with floor to ceiling curtain walling to create a new distinct front for the building.
Above ground floor, bronze anodised aluminium vertical louvres provide effective sun screening and light diffusion while also emphasising the four large windows which have been retained on the east façade. Their rhythm and size are a direct response to the laboratory benching within the rooms themselves. The ‘art deco’ entrance to an existing, neighbouring building has been refurbished and is now the new main entrance to the large south campus courtyard area leading to the Rosalind Franklin Building reception.
Space planning within the building has been carefully and efficiently organised by maintaining a ‘clean’ and ‘dirty’ corridor separation between teaching and research support spaces for both safety of students and to create a distinct research suite. The large capacity laboratories required separate entrances and exits to facilitate the throughput of students at changeover times and to segregate students from back-up services.
Spaces to gather at laboratory entrances limit the overall space required for lobby areas, making for an efficient building footprint. Additionally, because of the large number of students, each laboratory has its own dedicated store to allow rapid change over of teaching apparatus between lessons. All labs have been equipped with individual desk-mounted tablets for enhanced learning.
A special schools laboratory has been created at ground floor as part of the University’s outreach programme. The entirely reconfigurable teaching space is designed to connect with schools and local industry, thus bringing science out from behind closed doors and into the public realm.
With uninterrupted floor to ceiling glazed walls, the lab also acts as a ‘shop window’ giving community members an insight into the University’s science teaching capabilities.
Gary Collins from BGS said, ”The building presented an opportunity to reconnect the University of Wolverhampton with the city through the reintroduction of a campus entrance to Stafford Street. The contemporary glazed façade enhances connection with the public through ‘shop window-style’ engagement. Given the complex space planning, circulation and building services within, we are pleased how these have integrated quietly into the final building form. We are also delighted how well received the building has been locally.”
Rosalind Franklin Building in Wolverhampton – Building Information
Architects: Berman Guedes Stretton
Structural Engineers: Price & Myers
Quantity Surveyors: Faithful and Gould
M&E Engineers: Hoare Lea + Mechanical sub-contractor. Lome Stewart
Executive Architects: Tweedale
CDM Co-ordinator: Anderson Green
Photography: Quintin Lake
Teaching and Research Facility in Wolverhampton image / information received 220116
Location: Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England, UK
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Website: Berman Guedes Stretton Architects