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© Valerie Bennett

Michael Sterling Building

YRM have been livening up Brunel University’s Uxbridge Campus for some years, and this phase adds the prestige of a new chancellery and excitement of a school of architecture and design to the mix. Both are extensions to the Wilfred Brown building, the university’s main administration block, which also houses a small art gallery. 

The chancellery is circular and formed from precast concrete segments and stitched together on site, a technique that needs very little temporary works and allows for a quick construction programme. The steel roof has an outer circle of glass to let light in while the rest is covered in a standing seam metal cover.

The school of architecture and design is essentially a logical concrete structure of columns on a 7.2 m × 9 m grid and a flat slab but it has several particular features. At either end and in the centre there are glass boxes which cantilever from the frame while an atrium in the centre, which opens into the existing art gallery, makes a feature of its steel staircase. Additionally the upper floors are cut back to form a cascade of terraces overlooking the atrium so the slabs require downstand beams depending on the distance between their edge and the columns. In this design the structural strategy is to understand how much licence there is to make features within a standard structure before it has so many alterations that it is no longer standard.

A range of new extensions to Brunel University's main administration block

LOCATION
Uxbridge, UK
CLIENT
Brunel University
ARCHITECT
YRM
PROJECT VALUE
£ 12 million
COMPLETION
2009