This new 16,800sm Research Hub will provide a state-of-the-art facility for researchers to investigate significant global challenges and establishes a free-thinking, collaborative environment at the heart of the University’s new Gilmorehill campus. The Hub will focus on five thematic areas of research: ‘Technology Touching Life’, ‘Chemical Intelligence’, ‘Quantum and Nanotechnologies’, ‘International Development’ and ‘Creative and Cultural Economies’, and will support a broad range of collaborative spaces, including:
•Wet and dry labs for chemistry/biology/engineering/physical sciences
•Dry labs and studios for electronics/computing/arts & humanities
•Inter-disciplinary core facilities (sterilisation, washup, etc)
•An Engagement Hub for public outreach/exhibitions HOK has worked closely with the University to develop its vision to create a Hub that supports meaningful engagement and collaboration, both internally and externally.
The building is constructed primarily of glass and terracotta, utilising a warm palette of tactile materials which reflect the local vernacular and the immediate architectural context. Transparency predominates in the open areas, both inside and on the external wall. Glass barriers between lab and non-lab spaces connect researchers, while access to daylight helps to produce a healthy laboratory workspace and reduce artificial lighting loads. Visual connectivity between people gives the Hub a sense of vitality and community, the open lab array facilitating interdisciplinary interaction. Boundaries are flexible; placement of partitions, flexible services and modular ventilation allow the building to change and evolve as teams develop and new research themes emerge. A BREEAM Excellent rating & EPC A rating are targeted for the project, which is is scheduled to complete June 2021