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Atkins-designed centre opens at Edinburgh University

The animal science innovation centre and campus hub was officially opened by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal

Posted by Julian Owen | May 12, 2018 | Bricks & mortar

Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, is the designer behind a new animal science innovation centre and campus hub at the University of Edinburgh. Opened by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, the £23 million Charnock Bradley Building - at the University’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies - provides a place for staff, students, and businesses to share ideas, innovations and research. It is part of the University’s four-phase, 20 year development of the campus, intended to establish it as a world-leading centre of excellence for animal science.

The 7,000m2 sustainable building brings together university students, staff and research scientists into shared facilities including a gym, student services, cafe, teaching laboratory and exhibition space. The building also houses the Roslin Innovation Centre, an ‘incubator’ with research and development laboratories and offices for bioscience companies, including start-ups. The building is also home to the Easter Bush Innovation Centre, a teaching laboratory used by schools to encourage interest in science, and to provide children with access to advanced scientific equipment. The gym and shop will also be available for public use.

Neil McLean, Lead Architect for SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business, said: “Our design allowed for open spaces that help build a community between the building users. We’ve designed to allow for maximum adaptability and flexibility within the building. The laboratory and office spaces, for example, can be easily arranged in an open-plan, group, or small-scale format, depending on the end-user’s requirements. We wanted the building to be loose and flexible, and able to accommodate any use the tenants envision in future, optimising the space for collaboration and innovation.”

The exterior of the building has two key design elements: a grounded triangular block, clad in natural stone with a living green wall, complete with irrigation to fit the surrounding landscape; and an elevated glazed ellipse form. Neil said: “The client wanted an iconic design that was distinguishable from the surrounding facilities and allowed for future redevelopment as set out in the campus masterplan, and the team worked exceptionally hard to achieve this vision.”

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