The Active Learning Lab
The Active Learning Lab, Liverpool by Sheppard Robson

This glass-clad engineering laboratory has recently been completed for the University of Liverpool. The outer facade of the building is formed of reflective and fitted glass panels that illuminate the skyline of Liverpool. The scheme provides a three-storey extension alongside refurbishments to the existing Victorian Alfred Waterhouse-designed buildings. LED lighting is used within the facade, each luminaire being individually controllable, creating a ‘digital chameleon’.


The Lab is a double-height, part-naturally ventilated, glass-clad structure which, by reusing the columns supporting an existing 1960s nine-storey tower, appear to float above the existing podium building below. The outer skin of reflective and fritted glass panels provides the University with a statement building which reflects, rather than overshadows, the surrounding architecture. There are extensive views from the Lab west towards the city centre, south across to the Metropolitan Cathedral and north across the University campus.


The new entrance foyer is a fully glazed, three-storey full-height extension to the red brick Alfred Waterhouse-designed Victorian buildings, which will for the first time knit together the disparate buildings of the site. The new Lab is designed to promote the department’s industry-orientated undergraduate curriculum, which is based on the principles of CDIO: Conceive, Design, Implement, Operate. This enables project work to be carried out in groups of varying sizes and allows the exhibition and testing of full-size replica models.


13 photos

Building Activity

  • demaineman
    demaineman commented
    Getting little done
    about 5 years ago via iPhone