AJ120 practice Grimshaw has cut the ribbon on its £140million Boldrewood Innovation Campus at the University of Southampton
The 180-strong practice has delivered the masterplan and all the new buildings on the 4.3 ha site.
The project, which is also the company’s largest higher education scheme to date, is a collaboration between the Southampton Marine and Maritime institute with Lloyd’s Register Global technology Centre. The university and the Lloyd’s Register plan to share expertise and research at the site.
Four buildings have been completed that all face a central sloping lawn. The scheme includes a hydro science facility that accommodates a 138m towing and weave tank and two large wind tunnels together with water flumes that will be used for detailed study of fluid dynamics.
Grimshaw has unified the appearance of the buildings using a palette that includes jura limestone, zinc cassette panels, teracotta baguettes, anodised aluminium, glass and cedar boarding.
Where solar shading was needed along the east and west facing facades, horizontal louvres were attached vertically, on the south facing facades they are attached horizontaly.
Neven Sidor, Grimshaw’s partner in charge of the project, said: ‘It is unusual for a single architectural practice to be responsible for both the masterplan and all the buildings within it and we were acutely aware of the need to balance the harmony of the whole against the individuality of its parts.
It’s unusual for a practice to be responsible for both the masterplan and all the buildings within it
‘We’ve therefore developed a family of buildings, deriving unity from a shared materials palette and diversity from the proportions with which these materials have been used. These are refined and understated buildings with a character informed by crisp and simple detailing.’
The final building on the site, a new National Infrastructure Laboratory, is due to complete in 2018.
‘Several aspects of current best practice in the sustainability field have been employed in buildings throughout the campus. These include night-time thermal storage through exposed concrete soffits, options for both natural and low velocity displacement ventilation, and minimisation of solar gain through appropriate external shading. An innovative, low- energy rain water filtration system was also pioneered on the Lloyd’s Register building, the first time such a system has been used on this scale.
‘All four university buildings are exclusively lit by LED fittings, the first buildings of their kind to do so in the UK.’