Architects: Bond Bryan Architects
Bond Bryan Director: Darren Southgate
Project Managers: Turner & Townsend
Services Engineers: Silcock Leedham
Civil/Structural Engineers: Eastwood & Partners
Contractor: Miller Construction (now Galliford Try)
Construction Value: £4.5 million
Completion Date: 2013
Gross Internal Floor Area: 2,500 square metres
BREEAM Sustainability Rating: Very Good
Conceived as a collaborative research environment, this building is inclusive and yet commercially secure and shares a range of related services.
With a UK renaissance in manufacturing upon us, the Design Prototyping Testing Centre is a visionary place bringing multi-engineering disciplines together under one roof and in conversation over common problems. This so called design ‘solutioneering’ utilises a range of perspectives in shared design-studio and workshop spaces.
Ideas are tested through prototyping via 3D printing or real time manufacturing processes in different materials where specialists in electrical engineering, metal forming and flow of plastics or product ergonomics optimise production methodologies. Collaboration on this scale in one environment is unique.
To display design work, the workshop space can be viewed from different vantage points; it can be also be segregated for privacy where project confidentiality is needed.
Architecturally, significant daylight supplied via translucent walls (Kalwall) and roof-lights enriches the shared creative spaces with a diffuse, even lighting. The metaphor of shedding new light on thinking is not new, but controlling light and managing all aspects of the internal environment whilst articulating an aesthetic vision that supports creativity, is very much a modern outcome driven by the need for meaning, energy conservation and architectural ambition.
Whilst Kalwall gives this building its unique identity and internal quality, it also gives it its night time appearance when internal lighting makes it glow: a literal beacon for manufacturing research.
This DPTC is the last of seven buildings to fit onto AMRC I, all benefitting from pre-planned, low carbon technology installations and a common High-Voltage ring main. The ability to share energy demands across buildings means energy is used efficiently; exporting electricity to the grid is also an option.