The construction of the new library was a vital step in the on-going regeneration of their town centre campus in Luton. Given the limited footprint, the tall building provides a variety of areas to suit the demands of the students for quiet working environments.
University of Bedfordshire
Moses Cameron Williams Architects
Davis Langdon LLP
Our brief was to work closely with key trades to carry out the detailed design, manufacture and delivery of the façade scheme. A delicate price point and a relatively highly specified scheme dictated the material and system choice, leaving the care of the methodology and delivery in our hands.
Given the extremely challenging and tight site location, including party wall considerations, careful planning and collaboration was key.
A concrete frame building with columns and slab lines clad in pre-cast concrete panels created a modular façade pattern with individual curtain wall screens framed by the pre-cast. A proprietary stick system curtain wall was used with the weathering lines and membranes running behind the pre-cast and back to the structure. Party wall elements are fire-rated and a system with matching sight-lines was used to ensure continuity of framing.
The north and south ends of the building are continuous screens with no pre-cast so a secondary steel frame was utilised as the supporting structure. Glazed into the screens in these locations are triple glazed units with integral stainless steel mesh to give a level of obscurity and architectural feature. Large spans have made this a challenging design.
Other areas of work include timber curtain walling to the ground floor double height space with integral main entrance and revolving doors, plant enclosures and louvres screens to the roof level and areas of cladding and architectural metalwork.
The completed building reflects the University’s aspiration for an efficient, serious and scholarly facility that supports and enables improvements in academic and institutional performance.