The redevelopment of the 1970s MB Building following an initial masterplanning study for the University's science area, involving a complete reconfiguration of the area and ad-hoc additions to bring some cohesion to the area while upgrading existing buildings to exemplar science teaching and research space.
The MB Building has been stripped back to the frame and re-configured and extended to improve and enlarge teaching spaces and enhance circulation throughout the building. Early investigations into the existing steel frame meant a detailed load assessment could be carried out to confirm the building's capacity to carry additional plant loading at roof level. This also allowed service runs to be coordinated between the new extension and existing building without compromising floor to ceiling levels. A steel frame with concrete floors on metal deck formwork was chosen for speed of erection and also due to the logistical difficulty of delivering to a city centre site along a main bus route.
Renamed The Rosalind Franklin Building upon re-opening, it now provides under-graduate and post-graduate teaching spaces, and PhD research laboratories for a range of sciences, including micro-biology, chemistry and pharmaceuticals. Due to the large and varied student cohort using the building, each laboratory has its own dedicated store room to allow quick change over of teaching apparatus between lessons. The lab gases and other services are hung from ceiling mounted tracks, the benching and desks can be adjusted to suit the number of people and teaching layouts, enabling the ground floor laboratory space to be entirely reconfigurable.
To speed the programme, the project team was procured through the Scape Framework, allowing the client to assemble a design team quickly rather than tendering for each discipline in a more traditional way.