We were shortlisted in 2008 to lead a multi-disciplinary team and take part in a limited design competition for Loughborough University's new Design Centre on the East Park Campus. The brief set out a construction budget of £15m, a gross internal area of 7,559 m2, a broad mix of design disciplines under one roof, flexibility, buildability and value for money, a BREEAM 'Excellent' rating and a building acting as a showcase for design.
The building we proposed was arranged on three floors and made up of two linear blocks, 12m in depth, providing good flexibility for a variety of possible plan layouts. One block was aligned with an existing rugby pitch with a second block cranked and partially aligned with the existing road. Between these two blocks, a partially glazed atrium provides natural ventilation and daylight to the centre of the building. The facades of the building respond to their orientation by varying the size of window openings and use of external brise soleil. The north elevation features a dramatic curving cor-ten steel clad wall with a lecture theatre expressed as a projecting box with contrasting cladding. The frame of the building was steel, providing a flexible planning grid, with pre-cast concrete planks forming the upper floors, providing thermal mass to help moderate the internal temperatures. The roof was partly formed with pre-cast concrete planks and partly with a timber structure formed using exposed glulam beams.