University of Surrey 5G Research Center Winning Proposal / Scott Tallon Walker Architects

Scott Tallon Walker Architects just won the competition to design the new £35 million 5G Research Centre for the University of Surrey which will be the world’s first center for research into the next stage of mobile technology at the University. Their concept for the new building creates a flexible space with a circular atrium that acts as a central lung and focus, to ensure maximum interaction amongst researchers. The building will house the UK’s largest academic research center for mobile communications with 130 researchers and around 90 PhD students. The project has been given an urgent status and it is being undertaken immediately/ The project is expected to be completed well before the end of next year. More images and architects' description after the break.

University of Surrey 5G Research Center Winning Proposal / Scott Tallon Walker Architects - Garden
Courtesy of Scott Tallon Walker Architects

5G is the fifth generation of mobile cellular systems. 3G is currently in use in the UK as the country transitions to 4G. 5G’s focus is on network capacity, providing more capacity with lower power consumption. The competition to design the new 5G Innovation Center drew strong international competition when the University of Surrey received funding of£35 million last year to develop and fund the project.The funding for the project comes from a variety of sources including the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) government and a range of corporate sponsors from the mobile communications industry.

This ability to have both staff and students interact easily is a key element in the success of the design.  When built, the scheme will achieve BREEAM ‘Excellent’ environmental rating using mixed mode, naturally ventilated, simple yet sophisticated energy concept for its ventilation. The materials used in the building are a pallet of low energy and maintenance elements including terracotta rain screen, aluminium, glass and steel, sympathetic to the adjoining buildings on all sides. It’s an exciting vision of what promises to be a very important center for not only the University but for the whole of the UK and beyond.

Their concept for this building was informed very much by how their own architects work. They see the new center at the University of Surrey as a place where some of the finest minds in mobile communications from around the world will be sharing their visionary ideas. The team has watched and studied how creative groups share ideas in the workplace and their design will mean that people will have a strong sense of contact, visual and/or aural, with colleagues during the working day.

This leads to better collegiality but more importantly to the sparking of creative ideas, spurring people on with fresh suggestions while seeing the progress being made by colleagues.  The Scott Tallon Walker practice is obviously delighted to have won such a prestigious competition.

The new 5G Centre will enable the UK to lead this rapidly expanding segment of the global digital economy. Locally, it will bring yet more momentum to the clusters of established and new high tech businesses on our Surrey Research Park. Finally, and very significantly for us, it consolidates the leading position of our own Centre for Communication Systems Research in Europe and paves the way for the further development of our long-term strategic partnerships with major global telecommunications organisations and significant inward investment into both Surrey and the UK.

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Cite: Alison Furuto. "University of Surrey 5G Research Center Winning Proposal / Scott Tallon Walker Architects" 03 May 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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