A BUILDING THAT CREATES A STUDY ENVIRONMENT THAT ECHOES THE BEST WORKPLACES
Behind the striking sloped facade, three simple parallel, flexible floor plates create two bright, enclosed atria. The taller is occupied by the Business School, the smaller by The Hub.
The Business School encompasses formal teaching spaces, while The Hub offers a vibrant street café ambience where students trade ideas and knowledge.
Throughout, a series of formal and informal ‘social learning spaces’ for its 5000 students and 250 staff permeate the building on all levels.
A rainbow, whatever the weather
Collaborating with artist, Martin Richman, we conceived the building as a jewel-like crystalline object that contrasts with the University’s existing red brick buildings.
Pleating the façade with light refracting and reflecting dichroic fins animates the structure, its reflections changing with time and seasons. Inside, it playfully casts shards of multicoloured light across the concrete interior, much like a giant kaleidoscope.
The University is delighted with the building, both in terms of the strong external statement which it makes and the internal simplicity with limited use of natural materials and colour palettes.
Prof. John Brooks, Vice-Chancellor
The school was designed at a time of major changes in Higher Education – intense competition between institutions, the introduction of fees and mounting pressures on funding.
The university's response was to improve its facilities and outshine its rivals, and the business school was the first major part of a masterplan to do this. What has resulted is the antithesis of the archetypal cloistered halls of academia.
COLD WATER COOLING.
The building is innovative in its environmental solution, its structure and its materiality, exceeding the university’s targets for renewables, improving on energy use targets and achieving BREEAM Excellent.
Referencing Manchester’s historic industrial warehouses, internally the building is characterised by its honest display of the structure and the robust use of exposed concrete. The concrete is also fundamental to the performance of the building in its thermal mass properties.
Chilled water pipe-work is cast into pre-cast concrete floor slabs, delivering cooling to the spaces without any visible mechanical equipment. A ground source heat pump provides heating and cooling, allowing heat from areas that require cooling, such as IT rooms, to be used to heat other areas of the building or to be used to pre-heat the domestic hot water supply.