West Downs – University of Winchester

Winchester SO22
University of Winchester
Design Engine
Quantity Surveyor
Jackson Coles
Education and Public Sector

Project Scope

  • Curtain walling
  • Aluminium windows and doors
  • Aluminium rainscreen cladding
  • GRC cladding
  • Corten brise soleil and cladding
  • Architectural metalwork

Sitting at a gateway location to the City of Winchester, the new teaching building will sit within the University’s West Downs campus, nestling alongside the 18th century Grade-II listed business school.  The impressive addition to the University’s portfolio will provide state-of-the-art facilities and a new learning space to meet the changing demands of higher education.

Key Challenges

  • Multiple façade treatments with complex interfacing
  • Stringent performance criteria meshed with demanding visual aesthetics
  • Bespoke Corten steel brise soleil and cladding
  • Complex site constraints and logistical strategy

The Brief

Working closely with main contractor Osborne over a period, the new build scheme needed early involvement to ensure the architectural intent could be delivered inside the cost constraints set out by the Client.  Working carefully through the process, Colorminium were taken through a 2-stage procurement process ahead of being engaged to commence design works alongside the frame and M&E contractor.

Signature architects Design Engine have come up with a visually stunning design that does justice to the prominent location, and collaboration with them to fully cost and bring the scheme to market is now complete.  A technically challenging building with high and varied performance criteria, the multiple façade types is a key feature used to bring the building to life.  A mixture of masonry and glass facades flank the main learning block with projecting Corten brise soleil along the street elevation.  At the front of the site, a circular block sits alongside the new library space and gives a dramatic entrance to the campus.

Our Approach

Working on a stage E design, the various façade aspects were reviewed, and a detailed proposal put together.  Careful examination of the façade challenges was required such as structural steel penetrations to support the brise soleil, to ensure that the costed proposal put forward would actually meet the demands of the project.

Working from the structure out, Colorminium will be responsible for all the glazed elements, aluminium and GRC cladding and Corten steel.  To the masonry elevations, lightweight steel framing will provide the structural openings for our glazing and in the curtain wall locations, the façade is designed to pass the slab edge giving continuity of weather sealing.  The steel brise soleil is supported of a complex extension to the structural frame which passes through the curtain walling.  To the circular drum building, supporting structure will be fixed back to the frame before a render finish is applied and the steel fins installed as a last fix item.

As well as detailed design, a sound approach will be needed in finalising the methodology of what will be a challenging build.  The constraints of an inner city environment are all there to be juggled with as well as an overlapped programme with key trades such as the structural frame and M&E.

The Result

With the concrete frame already underway, our scope of works is due on site in late 2018 and continuing through to mid-2019.  The finished product will be a truly stunning building that adds to the growing portfolio for all involved.