University of Edinburgh
The scheme for the School of Biological Sciences aims to consolidate its research activities in enhanced and better-connected facilities that encourage closer collaboration between disciplines.
Alongside an extensive internal and external refurbishment of the 1960s 10-storey Darwin Building, additional laboratories, plant room, teaching, learning and office spaces will be provided in an extension to the Waddington Building. The Hive – a hub building with café and teaching and collaboration facilities will be a new front door for the school and an MEP building will serve as an energy centre for the School.
The Darwin tower, while outdated and with poor environmental standards was found to have a usable footprint, good floor-to-ceiling heights and a solid structure. In keeping the structure, its embodied carbon is retained. The introduction of double-height atria at key floors brings in daylight and creates ‘departmental hubs within the school– places for gathering, meeting and collaboration.
A new high performance, airtight façade aims to deliver low U-values and high airtightness, improving the comfort and lessening the operational carbon impact of the building. The façade will reflect the sky, to become as much of a landmark for South Edinburgh as the Pentland Hills.