Arup Campus
The appearance of the Arup Campus building reflects a radical traditionalism – a rational approach to the rural vernacular that surrounds this project. The weathering of the timber cladding melds the building into its landscape. Towering above the eaves, giant roof pods are prominently expressed. These distinctive elements define the ethos of an environmentally responsible and responsive space – a gentle, sustainable office building, designed for people. The structure has an unusually wide plan. Despite this, the building is designed to be naturally ventilated and to maximise daylight penetration. The roof pods provide the solution. Through a chimney-like stack effect they drive the ventilation naturally and bring controlled daylight deep into the heart of the building. This low-energy strategy is supported by the thermal mass of the exposed concrete floor and roof soffits. Exposed hard surfaces might cause unpleasant reverberation, but sound absorption within the volume is provided by specially designed dampers integrated into the light fittings. Externally, the contextual timber louvres control solar gain and glare, and provide human-scale detail to the façade. Moreover, the louvres and opening windows can be manually operated, giving back environmental control to the individuals who live in the building. The two-storey building is laid out as two long pavilions, sited to relate to the contours of the land. The slope, used to reduce on-site cut and fill and to enhance the relationship between the workplace and the external landscape beyond, also allows the creation of internal half levels and atria that ensure a fluid connectivity between the work spaces. Arup Campus has realised the creation of a highly flexible, sustainable office building within the same budgetary constraints as a typical office in a business park setting, it responds to the natural setting of the adjoining site while creating the visual openness envisaged by the client. The developer client and the end user client briefs required a comfortable, energy efficient environment that stimulates and motivates users of the building with a sustainable, integrated design. The build was split into two phases; phase one providing office space for 350 staff and conference room space, phase two added a new pavilion expanding office areas to accommodate 600 staff and incorporating a lecture theatre, a gym, changing areas, and a café. It also included the creation of four internal half levels that ensure connectivity between the work spaces, and a spatial organisation that is appropriate for the practices’ work style. Providing flexible working spaces that help to unite the various groups using the buildings was key in the user client brief, thus responding to their ethos of providing a unified design studio. The philosophy behind the design is to allow for future needs, through a loose fit approach that can respond to changing requirements. While security and private spaces are provided, boundaries are kept to a minimum with visual openness for visiting clients and shared work and amenity space provided for occupants. A series of differently scaled spaces lend themselves to more private working, informal meetings and structured conferences. In addition the design allows for Pavilion C to be separately tenanted from the other two Pavilions. All material specification was sustainably sourced where appropriate The project considers the social aspects of sustainability as highly as the environmental. The pavilion creates a high degree of visual connectivity within a deep floor plate, both across and between floors. This design is made possible by an innovative fire strategy that provides excellent smoke clearance allowing the building to have very few fire compartments. Spaces are created for informal meetings, while the high level of ceilings and soffits help to increase the occupants’ wellbeing. This deceptively simple building is driven by a better, more humane response to the workplace. At Arup Campus, energy efficiency, good internal communication and a sense of user control are all the end results of an expressive unified design.

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