“The Bob Champion Research and Education Building is the first building for the University of East Anglia located on the Norwich Research Park. The new building provides a striking and very different aesthetic for clinical and research facilities, whilst continuing UEA’s history of low energy sustainable projects.
The simple ‘L’-shaped footprint allows the creation of a welcoming landscaped area for the users and visitors to the building and keeps the car parking to the rear of the building. The external cladding of western red cedar provides a softer impression than many similar biomedical facilities and the acoustic damping that it provides further enhances the courtyard space as a place for relaxation.
The building accommodates a high number of visitors and the main components of the brief are easily understood on the first visit, with the atrium space acting as the fulcrum between the high specification laboratories and the office and write-up spaces. The ground level houses all the highly-populated accommodation such as the 200-seat lecture theatre and seminar rooms.
The building utilises a simple, but highly effective approach to sustainable design. The use of natural daylight, thermal mass and protection from high heat gains means that the entire teaching wing can be naturally ventilated. The laboratory wing requires a higher level of mechanical and electrical intervention, but this is also kept to a minimum.
The project has been delivered on a modest budget, but that is only apparent when looking at the construction costs, not when looking at the building as a whole. The limitations on budget and programme, and the potential loss of quality control with a two-stage design and build project has not restricted the high technical content of the brief, nor the expressive nature of the external form. The architects have delivered a highly sustainable and striking building that has transformed the client’s mode of operation in a most positive way.”
“The architects have delivered a highly sustainable and striking building that has transformed the client’s mode of operation in a most positive way.”