New Science Building

Work is complete on the 9,000m2 Sheppard Robson-designed New Science Building, which occupies a prominent site at the heart of the University of Hertfordshire’s College Lane Campus, Hatfield. A major element of the university’s 2020 Vision, the building has been designed as a simple orthogonal structure that is derived from the cellular grid of the flexible laboratory spaces within.

New Science Building - Courtesy of Hufton + Crow

New Science Building – Courtesy of Hufton + Crow

Whilst optimised internally, the external envelope has been carefully finessed and tuned to signal the arrival of a major new facility at the university: a distinctive cladding system animates the building, whilst also helping the structure achieve BREEAM Excellent.

New Science Building - Courtesy of Hufton + Crow

New Science Building – Courtesy of Hufton + Crow

Cutaways from the regular shape of the building work to articulate the position of the entrance and this key access point is further emphasised by a high-level terrace above. This main entrance will align with a new prominent route through the campus, with a new vista visually connecting the building with a major new student residential development and new public space.

New Science Building - Courtesy of Hufton + Crow

New Science Building – Courtesy of Hufton + Crow

The entrance and outdoor terrace are also punctuated by a copper mesh that is encased in glass; this maintains the rich colour of the material which creates a dialogue with the patinated copper-coloured cladding that characterises the exterior of the building.

New Science Building - Courtesy of Hufton + Crow

New Science Building – Courtesy of Hufton + Crow

A feeling of robustness and quality also runs through the internal spaces. The building’s main atrium has large expanses of exposed concrete, with drama added to the main circulation space – which includes a café – through a steel cantilevered staircase.

New Science Building - Courtesy of Hufton + Crow

New Science Building – Courtesy of Hufton + Crow

Tony Poole, Partner at Sheppard Robson, said: “The building had to do more than provide technically excellent and controlled spaces within a box. We wanted the architectural language to be a beacon for the University’s ambitions, with a finely tuned and bold response that did not comprise on efficiency.”

New Science Building - Courtesy of Hufton + Crow

New Science Building – Courtesy of Hufton + Crow

Project Info
Architects : Sheppard Robson
Location : United Kingdom
Year : 2016
Type : Educational
Photographs : Hufton + Crow

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