Queen Mother Building Dundee University Design

Dundee University Architecture, Queen Mother Building photos, Scotland higher education

Queen Mother Building Dundee

Tayside Education building, East Scotland design by Page/Park Architects

post updated 12 August 2023

Design: Page/Park Architects

Photographs by Keith Hunter from Page Park Architects 271006

Queen Mother Building

Queen Mother Building Dundee Queen Mother Building Dundee Queen Mother Building Dundee
images © Adrian Welch

27 Oct 2006

Dundee University Campus building

RICS Sustainability Awards 2006 – Scotland: Queen Mother Building, Dundee

Queen Mother Building

A New Building For The Department Of Applied Computing

University Of Dundee : text From Page Park Architects


The new building is positioned facing the edge of the proposed campus green, which is the central feature within the new University of Dundee Campus plan.

The client is the Department of Applied Computing. The client group had a developed a brief showing the space requirements for the building but there main criteria was wanting a ‘non-nerdy, non-geeky’ building. The new building should reflect the department in that Computer programming is creative as well as technical.

Mainly, the building has been designed to be an enjoyable place the learn and work. It also represents the friendly face of computing for people of all ages.

Also our brief from the University was to produce a building which accords with the University’s campus energy strategy, ensuring that life cycle costs, both in terms of running and capital costs, are minimised.

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images © Adrian Welch

Building form

The design consists of clusters of spaces grouped around a central services spine. These spaces take the form of circular ‘pods’.

On the west side of the building are the computer and research labs, together with the lecturers offices. These pods are embedded within the structure and linked back to the spine wall by the circulation route.

The circular shape of the labs allows through ventilation and the positioning of the offices between allows natural ventilation into these.
The building is orientated north/southwards. The principle of the elevations is to have smaller windows on the south facing sides of the pods, to minimise solar gain and glare on computer screens. On the north facing sides glazed screens take advantage of good natural light and the views.

On the east side are the more public spaces, such as QMRC theatre, lecture theatre and cyber cafÈ. These pods are free standing within a triple height atrium space and are linked back to the spine by bridges. This space will have the feel of an internal street.

The building has been designed to be easily accessible by people of all abilities. The ground floor has level access from the outside. All upper level areas are accessible by passenger lift and all floors are level throughout.

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photos © Keith Hunter

Building Fabric

The building is of heavy mass construction of load bearing brick walls. This increases the ability of the internal spaces to buffer internal and external heat gain and loss transients without significant fluctuations of the internal temperatures.

The internal layout provides a cellular form with openable windows, allowing the majority of the building users to be provided with openable windows to assist in ventilating the building and thereby controlling their own microclimate. The shape of the pods also allows cross ventilation within these spaces.

The brickwork is clad with an insulated Sto render system on the exterior. This creates a ‘tea cosy’ effect, keeping the building warm in winter and cool in summer.

Combined Heat and Power (CHP) System

All energy for the building is provided from the University’s operational CHP installation. The building electrical supply is obtained from the local infrastructure, with the heating provided from the low-grade waste heat, provided as a by-product of the CHP electrical generation. Heating shall be provided by use of a combination under floor heating and perimeter trench heating within raised floors.

Enhancing the Physical Environment

The building is a focal point at the centre of the University Campus. Once the Campus green has been created the building will form a back drop to this central landscaped space which will be used for main University events such as Graduation and garden parties.

The University see this building as a flag ship. The unusual design should attract students to Dundee to study, showing that the University is forward thinking and encourages innovative design.


The design team worked closely with the client to produce the design. This involved workshops with the client group and monthly meetings. Our client has felt that they are part of the design team as they have been involved throughout the process.

The design team worked very closely with the contractor to produce this building.

The outcome is that the University is very happy with the project and the user group have stated that they have a new idea every minute, as the building helps them think in a creative way.
This was the original brief for the building and this is what has been delivered.

Queen Mother Building architects – Page Park

Location: Dundee, Tayside, East Scotland

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Comments / photos for the Queen Mother Building design by Page/Park Architects in Dundee, Scotland page welcome