Willmott Dixon will be delivering a £46.5 million new home for the School of Engineering within the University of Birmingham. Construction work for the development, which will accommodate both the School and the UKRRIN Rail Digital Systems Innovation Centre, will begin in August.
The building will offer a variety of contemporary and flexible design and research spaces, which were designed by Birmingham-based Associated Architects and will act as an incubator for innovation and strengthens teaching and research partnerships. Moreover, office, meeting and lab spaces will be arranged around a generous atrium containing flexible learning environments that will also enable greater collaboration between staff and students.
“This new building represents a celebration of engineering and will be a centrepiece of our new engineering hub. The ongoing collaborative relationship that we have with Willmott Dixon, along with the quality of delivery of their completed projects, gives us significant confidence that they will deliver this landmark building,” said Daniel Holmes, University of Birmingham.
“The School of Engineering has been designed, and will be delivered, with collaboration between the University and industry at its heart, enabling research and teaching excellence to be celebrated and showcased,” he continued.
Featuring exposed structural elements such as supports, pipework and services, the building’s interior will a practical display of its own engineering. On the outside, the facility will feature a half-brick, half-clad facade to provide a strong visual impact, with visual cues taken form railway lines and trackside signalling that connects it to its core specialism.
“The new School of Engineering provides a clear visual statement for the University. It will be driving interest in the STEM subjects, something that we will be supporting ourselves through the creation of opportunities for work placements,” said Nick Gibb, Deputy Managing Director for Willmott Dixon in the Midlands.
Earlier this year, Willmott Dixon was chosen to to deliver the University’s Teaching and Learning Building, scheduled for completion in 2020. Together with this latest contract, the company is delivering over £90 million worth of work for the University.