University of Manchester Schuster Annexe \

Developing entrepreneurial flair alongside technical excellence

Accommodating unprecedented growth in Physics demand, the new annexe is designed to become a catalyst for excellence in STEM teaching and learning.

The Challenge

Part of the first phase of the University’s Masterplan – the project will allow the department to improve the student experience, diversify recruitment, enhance transferable skills and employability of their students and accommodate the recent growth in STEM-Foundation and Physics & Astronomy (P&A) undergraduates at the University.

The new site is challenging as it is adjacent to one of Manchester’s main roads. The building will provide an important civic marker at the gateway into the campus and Brunswick Street.

The Big Idea

At the heart of the building will be the Ideas Mill, an innovative learning space that will extend the possibilities for collaborative teaching and learning in the department. The Ideas Mill will also extend the outreach activities of the department and provide a venue for schools and industry.

The Building delivers circa 2,500sqm of accommodation across four floors, organised with the Ideas Mill and student services at ground floor, two linked floors of teaching laboratories and project space, and a top floor of academic office accommodation.

The building is designed to connect into the existing circulation and lifts in the Schuster Building, providing seamless connections with the academics and student’s occupying other parts of the Physics Department.

We aim to exceed the University’s standards for Sustainability.

  • Project Details
  • Sustainability

Project Summary

  • Project name: University of Manchester Schuster Annexe
  • Location: Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Sector: Education
  • Service: Architecture
  • Value: Circa £11m
  • Type: New build
  • Client: E C Harris
  • Funder Client: University of Manchester
  • Status: Current

Project Team

Project Manager and Cost Consultant: EC Harris
Multi-Disciplinary Engineer: WYG


We have recommended a low cost, high value passive approach to achieve maximum value within a tight budget. This includes a highly insulated envelope, careful consideration of glazing ratios and specification as well as assessment of viable renewable energy. Specific challenges on this site are the tight link between the two buildings, so this has been planned to counter the decreased natural daylight on this façade. Due to the proximity to the road and acoustic requirements of the teaching spaces a natural ventilation solution is not suitable. An efficient mechanical ventilation solution that does not rely on chilled air is proposed. As part of the BREEAM commitment the project will achieve 20% energy production through on-site low or zero carbon technologies.

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