The above image shows the structural concept Axonometric I produced. It’s ball on white in my reader. I really like it as a graphic.



Initially a concrete base was considered in a notion similar to Sir Denys Lasdun’s ziggaruts at the University of East Anglia, at a significantly reduced scale. However, with respect to the woodland and tree roots this approach was ruled out. In part fuelled by the recent Walter Segal exhibition at the AA as well as my own research into the Calthorpe project the decision was made to follow and adapt a similar approach. This allows for minimal impact on the ground with concrete pad foundations and a timber frame structure. 

This factor begins to dictates a structural grid by the size of readily available sizes from local timber merchants, 3.85 metres. 

An adaptation of this grid is required to provide a lecture hall with a suitable degree of visibility. Therefore it is proposed that above this space, deeper timber trusses accommodate the 11.5 metre span. This will exist across the structural bay either side of the lecture hall.

The student union building will require tall timber columns where the land falls away the most. Stainless Steel shows will connect the laminated timber columns to the concrete pads and prevent rot damage. 

The dressed stone columns will be reinforced in the centre. 

Grid J’ offsets the timber columns to provide a cantilever over the stone columns at that level. 




In order to ensure that excessive energy isn’t used to heat the building the envelope has been developed with warm timber structure and sufficient insulation to make it thermally efficient. 

Large overhangs provide solar shading as well as protecting the facade from driving rain. Window sills and head details include drips to ensure that water is thrown off of timber and stone elements. 

Double glazing is used with a Low-E metallic oxide coating to help prevent solar gain by reflecting heat whilst allowing light to pass through. This is especially important on the areas of South facing glass.  


Typical for Rockwool Floor between joists 

120mm = 0.15 W/m2K*

Typical for Rockwool Roof between 600mm spaced rafters:

200mm = 0.18 W/m2K**

Typical for Rockwool Wall Timber frame: 

200mm = 0.19 W/m2K***




The building will use a heat exchange pump to heat and cool the building. The unit situated in the plant room next to the lift will be able to draw external air in through a controlled intake.

Air will be recirculated through ducting in the walls back to the system to heat / cool / filter as necessary. 

The building will feature controlled natural ventilation through the windows at high level above the auditorium 

The walls between the auditorium and the informal working / meeting spaces feature a discontinuous stud work frame with high density acoustic insulation. This is to help ensure the wall has high noise attenuation properties for the comfort of the building occupants using both auditorium and foyer spaces. 

MEP Concept axonometric

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