© Valerie Bennett
© Valerie Bennett
© Valerie Bennett
© Valerie Bennett
© Valerie Bennett

Brunel Eastern Gateway

During the last decade, our work has been instrumental in implementing a phased masterplan for expanding Brunel University’s campus in Uxbridge, culminating in the completion of the flagship Brunel Eastern Gateway project, which saw the construction of a new reception building at the east end of the site.

Designed by architect YRM, it consists of a four-storey wing wrapping around a circular auditorium, with a two-storey glazed atrium in between. The complex accommodates a variety of functions including art gallery, café, administrative offices, event space, and business school facilities.

The ‘wrap’ is curved in plan and features a three-storey-high entrance space, spanned by a bridge at first floor level linking to the auditorium. Directly above the entrance, at fifth floor level, is a penthouse pavilion for hosting events and receptions.

Concrete was chosen for the structure of the wrap for a number of reasons: it has good acoustic properties, is simple to mould into a curved shape, and its thermal mass properties support a natural ventilation system for the building, to help achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating.

Precast concrete plays a significant role in the project, with all columns made off-site. The 325 mm-deep floor slabs feature precast soffits which not only deliver a high-quality finish but also require no removable formwork, speeding up construction and avoiding the need for temporary works.

Meanwhile, the auditorium is 26 m in diameter and can accommodate up to 400 people. A desire to create a column-free space combined with particularly long spans made steel a more viable option, and as such a series of portal frames were chosen for the structure. At either end, where primary spans are shorter, lightweight Metsec trusses were specified, while the longer spans were achieved using cellular beams up to 1,200 mm deep.

New reception building as part of a phased masterplan to expand Brunel College in Uxbridge

London, UK
Brunel University
£ 21 million
6,000 m²