The University of Leeds has recently opened a £23m development to house its Faculty of Engineering. Grouping together five teaching and research schools with in excess of 700 staff and 3,500 students, the faculty is one of the largest in the UK.
The work is part of the university’s £520m transformation programme and involved the complex refurbishment of the existing five-storey Houldsworth Building to internally reconfigure the spaces and ensure the teaching facilities are fit for delivering a modern engineering curriculum.
The building comprises a suite of three purpose-built laboratories for research using radioactive materials allowing space for pilot scale rigs, bench top chemical experiments and high-spec analytic equipment. A new photonics laboratory also hosts ultrafast laser plasma implantation equipment.
Three new lecture theatres together with research laboratories, meetings rooms, flexible teaching and learning zones, office space and a 24 hour IT suite with adjacent breakout spaces are also provided with the transformations.
The main entrance and reception area, which had initially felt outdated and lacking design, have been updated to create a welcoming arrival area for all visitors. In addition to transforming the interior design, the projects involved significant modernisation of the buildings fire strategy by upgrading fire doors, stair cores and introducing dry risers in to the building to assist fire fighters.
GSSArchitecture acted as Architects and Lead Consultants for the project, having been appointed by Galliford Try from Stage 3 onwards. The project is just one of a range of buildings currently being designed and delivered by GSS in the Higher and Further Education sectors.