The University’s School of Pharmacy, one of its premier departments, was awarded a research grant by the Allen J McClay Trust to enable the provision of this high quality research facility. The chosen site was enclosed on three sides by existing buildings, mitigating against the client’s aspirations for a light and open building.
The design response resolves the situation through the introduction of a top lit vertical street bringing natural light into the deep plan laboratories and animating activity within the building. The restricted budget demanded close attention to the choice of external walling materials. The cost of curtain walling to laboratories and entrance staircases is offset through the incorporation of industrial cladding and masonry wall panels in other areas. A value engineering exercise carried out during the early stages of the design process, proved beneficial in focusing the entire team on priorities within the project. To retain the project’s cost within strict budgetary limits, high quality curtain walling is being considered with large elements of masonry walling and industrial type composite cladding.
The centre received a commendation in the RSUA Award 2002.
Queen's University Belfast
Architect / Lead Consultant