A gateway building for the University of Bath
|Client||University of Bath|
|Awards||Best Educational Building, LABC Building Excellence Awards - National Finalist|
A brief history
10 West was the first of the new buildings envisaged by the University masterplan for the western end of the Claverton Down Campus, situated prominently on the Bath skyline and at one of the campus entrances. This marked the beginning of AWW's long lasting relationship with the University.
10 West brings together the disparate facilities of the Psychology department for the first time, giving them a cohesive identity on campus. Alongside the department are complementary activities, including a conference suite, and dedicated post graduate study space. This integration demanded a design which placed collaboration at its heart to encourage chance meetings and connections.
Delivering the design
Within the Psychology Department, there was a need for a mix of spaces to accommodate the varying needs of academics, students and researchers. We worked in close collaboration to develop a model that included a suite of 10 labs tailored to specific research streams, academic offices, breakout areas and meeting rooms.
Working in collaboration
The Claverton Down Campus has limited development opportunities: every site must deliver maximum opportunity for the University. 10 West was no exception. By working with our cost consultant colleagues and utilising our expertise in digital design, AWW developed seven costed options at Stage 2. These fully explored the available scale and massing achievable within the highly sensitive planning constraints. This quantitative approach resulted in a building 40% larger than originally envisaged, with no greater footprint.
To assist in the occupation of the new building, we undertook the role of design team soft landings champion. Our comprehensive digital 3D Model provided visualisations to ensure that users were familiar with their surroundings prior to occupation.
The project had already begun when the University requested a dedicated Graduate Study Commons. The additional space already designed into 10 West plus our proactive engagement with the new user group, design team, contractor and subcontractors allowed this change in design to be absorbed into the existing programme, whilst the project was under construction.
Using BIM, we were able to develop several costed options in a matter of days, resulting in a flexible, legible and easily maintainable building.
The project's World Heritage Site location posed a huge challenge to the design of the building. The use of BIM, implemented throughout the project, allowed us to maximise use of the developable area on a congested campus and within a sensitive planning environment.
The Graduate Commons instructed six months prior to completion was an additional challenge, but although the change was substantial, we achieved it within the original timeframe, thanks to our integrated BIM programme.