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FIRST LOOK

Sheppard Robson completes laboratory for the University of Birmingham

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The £25 million scheme is designed to introduce ’radical new ways’ of teaching to students

The Collaborative Teaching Laboratory is sited on the University of Birmingham’s Edgbaston campus and has multifunctional spaces designed for collaboration between students of chemistry, chemical engineering, geology, earth and environmental sciences. It will accommodate around 50 staff and 950 students from 14 undergraduate schools.

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The building’s main entrance sits off the campus’s east-west route and beneath full-height glazing embellished with gold louvres. At the opposite end of the rectangular footprint a gold tiled box sits above the principal grey brick plinth. The east and west elevations are characterised with bronze trapezoidal and full-height windows. A glazed bridge with reflective cladding connects the new building to the adjacent Biosciences building.

Inside, the lower ground floor holds a triple-height informal learning area and a 178-seat dry lab. On the ground floor a 200-seat E lab sits beside an informal learning area and café. A simple colour palette of black, grey, gold and white has been employed throughout, offset by orange signage for clear wayfinding.  

Section

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Source: Sheppard Robson

Section view

Project data 

Start on site February 2017
Completion August 2018
Gross internal floor area 6,700m²
Form of contract or procurement route JCT D&B
Construction cost £25 million
Construction cost per m² £3,731m²
Architect Sheppard Robson
Client University of Birmingham
Structural engineer Curtins
M&E consultant Couch Perry Wilkes
QS Faithful+Gould
Fire consultant Buro Happold
Acoustic consultant SRL
Project manager University of Birmingham
CDM coordinator Steven Barnsley Associates
Approved building inspector Acivico
Main contractor Morgan Sindall
CAD software used Revit

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Readers' comments (1)

  • I wonder why canted mullions were preferred to vertical? - anything to be different, perhaps, as it can't be a genuine response to maximising the shading from low sun, sloping in different directions on the same facade.

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