With the design of any building, we need to understand the intended purpose of it and the factors that will influence its performance. One of these is the way people move about and behave in the building; by understanding that we can maximise the value of the space for all its users.
People flow modelling at spark\sbarc
The world’s first social science research park bringing academics and entrepreneurs together in a spirit of innovation, enterprise, and collaboration.
At the heart of the space is the Oculus, a sculptural staircase that ascends through a slanted void and travels the full height of the seven-storey building. At ground floor level, the staircase forms a key element of the welcome to the building, with banks of seating either side of the stairs forming an informal ‘social staircase’ that can also be used as an auditorium for events.
As the staircase rises through the building it forms a ‘spiral of collaboration’ with breakout zones on the landings of each level that create a lively activity zone in the centre of each floorplate.
We worked with people flow modelling consultant Buro Happold to ensure that our designs maximised the opportunity for interaction among the building’s diverse users.
It was agreed that the ground floor entrance areas and social break-out spaces on each floor were critical for the success of sbarc|spark in terms of capacity, safety, comfort, and collaboration.
A high-level analysis and dynamic people flow modelling of primary circulation routes and spaces within the building was performed against critical scenarios.
We developed our original concept designs to maximise the potential for impromptu meetings and communications. These included the provision of clear views between workstations and social spaces.
The building has now been open a few months; part of the post occupancy evaluations will be to review actual data, against the research outcomes.