New, modern and sustainable facilities for the School of Management
In order to reflect the breadth of course on offer, and to attract students in a highly competitive environment, the School of Management at RHUL wanted to expand their existing facilities. The brief was for a high quality, holistic building with landscaping of high architectural quality, with the works to be carried out as part of a phased expansion programme whilst the existing facilities was in constant occupation.
The new extension links the school’s existing, yet contrasting, two buildings: a single storey red brick Victorian building and a modern extension comprising a lecture theatre and foyer. The scheme also includes remodelling to parts of these areas: conversion of the existing offices to teaching spaces in the Victorian building and acoustic treatment to the main foyer.
The new two-storey accommodation block and atrium addresses the shortfall in quality academic accommodation. At ground floor it provides seminar and breakout rooms to serve the existing lecture hall and a new social space with reception. On the first floor we have included cellular and open plan offices with associated facilities including a glass meeting pod which projects into the existing foyer, providing high quality, flexible collaboration space.
In the atrium the existing Victorian red brick façade of the main building remains exposed yet enclosed, and, as well as providing the required flexible social space, the atrium is also pivotal to the fire and ventilation strategies.
The facades are primarily glazed, with the offices at first floor screened by multicoloured louvres that are arrayed and rotated so as to create a wave effect pattern. While offering privacy, these louvres also ensure the effectiveness of the building’s natural ventilation. They provide shading to the offices and breakout rooms thereby eliminating the risk of overheating. The Scheme (including the existing buildings) achieves BREEAM Very Good, it uses an air source heat pump and includes 170m² of PV cells on the roof.
The project was developed within the budget, working closely with the cost consultant. Designing the building in 3D Revit allowed the team to resolve issues before the contractor was appointed. The early engagement of a specialist fire engineer helped the design team to justify the use of a single stair for escape purposes.
Risks were identified and managed in conjunction with the University, the project manager and the design team. Milestone presentations ensured that all of the key stakeholders were able to contribute to the sign off process at each stage of the project. A key component of this process was agreeing finishes and colours before the contractor was appointed to ensure delays did not occur once construction work started.