Campus Gateway, University of Stirling.  

New flagship entrance building, reconfigured campus routes and refurbishment of the Cottrell Building to form a new campus gateway and arrival hub.

Project – New Campus Gateway Building
Client – University of Stirling

Contract Value - circa £3.8m (Combined projects)

Description


Leading on from our Courtyard Canopy Link project featured earlier in the projects section, we began to look at ways to further enhance the new ‘enhanced experience’ route that we had proposed through the University Campus for students and visitors to the University alike.

The aim was to provide a new visitor destination, or gateway, that reflected the University’s profile and core values.

This project relied upon the key nodal point we had earlier identified at the existing principle entrance to the Cottrell Building, linking the INTO building, Logie Lecture Theatre, arterial pedestrian route to student residences and the new University Bus Terminus.

More below

Project – New Campus Gateway Building


Client – University of Stirling

Contract Value - circa £3.8m (Combined projects)

Description


Leading on from our Courtyard Canopy Link project featured earlier in the projects section, we began to look at ways to further enhance the new enhanced experience route that we had proposed through the University Campus for students and visitors to the University alike.

The aim was to provide a new visitor destination, or gateway, that reflected the University’s profile and core values.

This project relied upon the key nodal point we had earlier identified at the existing principle entrance to the Cottrell Building, linking the INTO building, Logie Lecture Theatre, arterial pedestrian route to student residences and the new University Bus Terminus.

On our site visits to develop designs for the new Canopy Link Building we had found that the existing entrance to the Cottrell Building – which our new arterial pedestrian route and link building would rely upon, had no visual presence and lack of definition. Often when we were on site we were asked by visitors and prospective students for directions to reach the entrance, such was its anonymity, particularly so considering this was acting as a primary entrance to the University. We were keen to work with the University, who had already identified this problem, to develop proposals for a new gateway that would rationalise the circulation routes and leave prospective students in no doubt that they had arrived. We were also conscious that the success of our Courtyard Canopy Link proposals would be directly affected by resolving this issue.  


The existing entrance also lacked connectivity with main Carpark, with no visibility being afforded and a generally confusing pedestrian route – exacerbated by a lack of visual markers and wayfinding. A lack of definition or direction to the external spaces we felt also represented missed opportunity, particularly given the University’s excellent landscape gardens and planted areas. Poor quality and tired looking materials in this prime area also added to the problem.
Our overall assessment was that the current entrance was at odds with University ethos and provides a ‘confused’ first impression. In our view this prime area gave an excellent opportunity for further connectivity and integration with high quality INTO building adjacent, could act as a ‘nodal point’ to external space focusing direction and could take full advantage of the close proximity with the new Bus Terminus.


Our design proposals set out the aim of providing a new entrance element that would integrate with the materiality and geometry of the recently completed INTO Building and the existing Cottrell building. We worked with Ian White Associates to develop a new open concourse from the existing external space, with the geometry of the new entrance building serving to channel pedestrian flow both from the carpark and new bus terminus. The architecture sought to provide a strong visual connection to the existing carpark and buildings adjacent, to establish an instantly recognisable campus landmark.


The plan of the proposed building references the unusual geometry of the Cottrell building, and tapers to both ‘funnel’ pedestrian flow and open out to become a larger entrance space at the area of highest footfall – the new Bus Terminus. The aerofoil shaped roof abuts the existing first floor level of the Cottrell Building and is then angled upwards to maximise the height, and subsequently glazed area, of the new internal spaces of the gateway building whilst leaving existing classroom windows uncompromised in terms of sunlight. The roof extends West towards the into building, seeking to establish a strong visual relationship with the building, whilst providing a much needed sheltered external area as a meeting point; innovative lighting proposals developed with the M&E consultants have also been incorporated into roof structure, allowing bespoke illumination for University events and occasions.

 

We developed a new central anchoring wall, clad in the same black granite material as the INTO Building adjacent, helping to unify the space. This central wall also integrated the university’s brand identity, as ‘business card’ type architectural element, housing an integrated seating wall internally. A new ‘wraparound’ granite wall was designed to emerge from the new building, screening the existing service area and terminating in a contemporary archway to form a physical gateway and visual marker to the West. We also took the opportunity to integrate a new wayfinding signage totem, linear bench seating and linear LED lighting into the wall element.


Internally the proposals included the full refurbishment of what had been the existing mailroom, café and corridor space – then acting as a temporary entrance. Our proposals included the removal of the existing mailroom and widening of the corridor to create a new bright & dynamic reception space for all students and visitors alike. In order to provide a degree of enclosure to the new reception seating area, we inserted a small glass meeting room acting as an intermediary between spaces. This element was designed around providing a space for University dignitaries and VIPs to meet staff members, or providing a space for one on one meetings with prospective students. Key to our brief was maximising the impression left for prospective students, the space was to be welcoming, dynamic and informative – whilst communicating the University’s core values. We took the opportunity to remove an existing café store for the placement of a compact ‘information hub’ for prospective students. This small space was designed to curate the University’s achievements, house current prospectuses and give further information to visitors. It’s positioning in plan ensured that it would be the first space seen by all visitors to the campus. Other works included a new wating area with large format screens synchronised for use with the University’s bus terminus, a new feature reception desk and refurbished café – all designed to link seamlessly with the new Campus Canopy Link project.


Full Planning and Building Warrant permissions have been attained for the projects, and the project is due for start early next year, with completion by the end of 2021.

 

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