Mary Seacole Building
YRM designed Brunel University’s Health and Social Care building to achieve several goals in addition to providing accommodation for the department. It is a gateway to the university’s consolidated campus at Uxbridge, and in introducing new working patterns such as open-plan desks rather than cellular offices, it also had to have high environmental and aesthetic standards.
The university wanted to retain its staff as they moved from Twickenham or Osterley by offering attractive working conditions. Its fully glazed, crescent-shaped north façade, contrasting with the linear and solid south elevation, maximises natural light and ventilation, while the high standard of exposed concrete reinforces the aesthetic quality.
Structurally, aside from piled foundations to cope with soil plasticity and a transfer structure at first floor level to leave a clear-span gym at ground level on the south side, the challenge was to coordinate all components, such as casting the electrical installation into the concrete, to maintain aesthetic consistency.
The structure is pushed hard to provide the required flexibility, such that post-tensioned slabs and reinforced columns work as moment frames to minimise vertical core walls and maximise floor-to-ceiling heights.
A gateway building at Brunel’s Uxbridge Campus, with modern, open-plan office space
£ 9 million