University of Slaford
Value: £11.5 million
Programme: Dec 2018 - Ongoing
Size: 2,200 sqm
This project has seen us develop the brief, prepare design proposals and obtain planning permission for a new build research and development space within the wider, 5plus designed, Salford Crescent and University masterplan. The ‘Centre of Excellence’ will sit within the university’s new high-tech ‘innovation district’.
The aim of the centre is to provide a facility for small and medium sized companies in the Greater Manchester area to develop their skills, improve their business and production processes, digital technologies, products and services using robotics and automation. Our proposals have been designed in response to a prescriptive brief and complex equipment requirements which will allow the building to support this aspiration whilst regenerating a brownfield site and meeting sustainability targets.
The building is arranged in a z-shaped plan articulated as a series of stacked laboratories. These are linked by a main feature stair which sits at the heart of the building. The laboratories are strategically positioned depending on their various needs. Both Intelligent Mobility Transport and Health Technology are located on the ground floor, with Food & Manufacturing sitting above the entrance. Collectively they accommodate a full range of industry applications with each lab being designed for future flexibility allowing for different uses and layouts.
The remaining accommodation, including offices, meeting rooms, collaboration zones and workshops is positioned in the fourth and final ‘leg’ of the building, on the first floor. Externally a simple palette of materials is used. The base is heavy concrete, with the upper levels clad with a light perforated corrugated profile metal. The Robotics project is conceived as a catalyst project, attracting other high-tech employers to the area and providing Salford with a competitive advantage over other cities within the region.