School of Management
Todd Architects have designed a zinc-clad, pod-shaped lecture theatre with complex curvatures abutting a more conventional atrium space.
The structural challenge was to find a rational way to resolve the shapes and junctions. The pod rests on a raking in-situ concrete floor slab, with holes in it to permit air flow to the plant room below. Its shape comes from curved section glulam beams that terminate in a ring beam, which being asymmetrical, requires cross bracing.
An important part of the architectural concept was to keep the atrium clear of structure, so its roof had to be supported on the pod as well. It is a solid concrete construction, and tying it to the curving timber beams of the pod requires some formidable and complex bolts.
A second phase will see a range of smaller teaching rooms and offices spaces, whose size means they can be constructed much more simply, with a steel frame and precast concrete planks for the floor slabs.
Curved, innovative lecture theatre created from glulam beams with complex connections to surrounding concrete frame
Royal Holloway University of London
£ 1.4 million