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FIRST LOOK

Bennetts’ centre for tech research completed in Edinburgh

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The 9,500m² Bayes Centre, part of the University of Edinburgh, employs ‘synergetic’ design with aim of boosting collaboration across fields

The scheme is orientated around a large, central atrium which is designed to promote ‘transparency’ between the different organisations based in the building. Staircases within the atrium connect to breakout spaces, accessible by all these organisations, which include the Edinburgh College of Art and tech-focused businesses such as IBM and Intel. 

Bennetts associates bayes centre  (c) keith hunter (11)

Bennetts associates bayes centre (c) keith hunter (11)

Among the Bayes Centre’s facilities are robotics labs, lecture theatres, studios, workshops and open-plan office spaces based on Bennetts Associates’ research into ‘synergetic’ design. Up to 600 researchers working in the building will have access to a ground-floor café and courtyard as well as roof gardens with views towards Arthur’s Seat. The Bayes Centre follows Bennetts’ previous work on the university’s Potterrow campus: the Informatic Forum and Dugald Stewart Buildings completed by the practice’s Edinburgh studio in 2008.

In keeping with the material palette of the Scottish capital, the project employs sandstone on the façade and white concrete in the courtyard. The footprint of the building echoes a city street that ran through the site until the 1960s with easy access public spaces and a series of entrances. 

Architect’s view

Bayes Centre is the final phase of University of Edinburgh’s Potterrow development, which we began in 2003 following an architectural competition. It has been a privilege to observe the development taking its place at the centre of university life and playing a pivotal role in the evolution of Edinburgh’s highly successful tech sector, something that now extends well beyond the university itself.

Rab Bennetts, founding director, Bennetts Associates

1417 0309 section s n

1417 0309 section s n

North-South section

Project data

Start on site January 2016
Completion August 2018
Gross internal floor area 9,500m²
Form of contract or procurement route Traditional, SBC/Q/Scot (2011)
Construction cost Undisclosed
Architect Bennetts Associates
Client University of Edinburgh
Structural engineer Buro Happold
M&E consultant Buro Happold
QS Turner and Townsend
Fire consultant Atelier Ten
BREEAM advisor RSP
Landscape consultant Ironside Farrar
Acoustic consultant New Acoustics
Project manager Faithful+Gould
CDM coordinator Faithful+Gould
Main contractor McLaughlin & Harvey
CAD software used Microstation

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