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Bennetts adds to Spence campus

Bennetts Associates has unveiled these images of a 25,000 m 2 mixed-use addition to Basil Spence's 1960s Edinburgh University city-centre campus.

As the major component of the university's masterplan for the George Square/Bristo Square area, the project replaces a windswept car park with buildings, courtyards and reinstated streetlines.

The academic space is relatively uniform and readily adaptable to potential future uses, while a lot of the accommodation is cellular.

As such, the floorplates have been laid out to ensure that pedestrian circulation routes engage with a variety of viewing points, openplan break-out spaces and doubleheight volumes.

Construction will reflect the simplicity of this plan, using an energy-efficient strategy based on exposed concrete slabs and air supplied from the floor, which is supplemented by opening windows.

Externally, the elevations play on the distinction between the stone-faced streets of Edinburgh and the need for more lightreflective surfaces in the courtyard.

Different types of stone cladding and contrasting ratios of solid to void in the facade are used in different contexts. For example, Charles Street on one side has a greater need for animation, while Potterrow requires something more regular.

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