The architectural practice Hawkins\Brown has been granted planning permission for the Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building (IBRB) at the University of Warwick. Expected to open in 2020, the facility will set new standards in the campus with the quality of its architecture and interior flexible spaces.
With a £54.3m budget, the research building will be integrated with its natural surroundings, generating visual connections between the interior and exterior spaces, and with the campus to the north. Designed to blend with the existing and stand out through its architectural excellence, the structure “utilizes the topography, views and links to woodland beyond”. The designed landscape surrounding IBRB incorporates the existing cycle and pedestrian pathway. On another hand, facing the central hub of the university, the entrance of the research center create a meeting point.
On a programming level, the 5-storey construction, includes an open space central ‘lab village’ core. In fact, the architects drafted flexible, open and light spaces, to encourage encounters, connections, communication and a productive atmosphere. At the perimeter of the open layout surface, Hawkins\Brown, one of the UK’s leading architects in the higher education sector, decided to create office spaces and collaboration zones. IBRB hold also a 400-seat lecture theatre, with a large public entrance, café and exhibition space.
Offering an inclusive and welcoming open space, IBRB seeks to achieve BREEAM Excellent. Actually, “through working closely with University scientists and researchers, the building has been designed to allow for flexibility as science progresses, and ‘future proofing’ the building to achieve ongoing sustainability.”
The IBRB will provide a world class facility for the world class researchers at the University of Warwick. The building benefits from an exposed part concrete, part Glulam and CLT frame providing visual contrast internally; this manifest externally through the use of precast concrete cladding and anodized aluminum ‘fins’. This mature and robust palette demonstrates the University’s commitment to achieving high quality design and maximizing the use of Offsite Manufacturing methods. We are proud to have led the design of the IBRB, which sets a benchmark for future buildings on the Gibbet Hill Campus. -- Jade Pleass, project architect.