Research and Administration Buildings, University of Edinburgh

A group of buildings which explore energy efficiency and technical innovation.

Hurd Rolland completed three projects at the King’s Buildings for the University of Edinburgh.

The Centre for Science at Extreme Conditions (CSEC) provided high-quality specialist research facilities for a joint venture between five departments and included optical, cryogenic, chemical and X-ray laboratories in addition to offices, post-graduate facilities and seminar accommodation. As part of its remit to facilitate innovative research, the building was designed to give staff and students opportunities to meet, exchange ideas and disseminate their work in an ad-hoc, creative way, reflecting the clients’ belief that ‘thinking’ and social spaces are as valuable as laboratories.

The Alexander Graham Bell Building was the first truly ‘green’ building to be constructed by the University of Edinburgh. It provides 2,600m2 of teaching and research accommodation for the staff and students of three electronics departments. Designed around innovative sustainable principles and technologies, the project was an excellent early example of low energy building.

The William Rankine Building provides 3,000m2 of highly-serviced multi-science and engineering laboratories, together with teaching accommodation and administration offices. The layout is designed to create several informal areas for meetings and cross-fertilisation of ideas which has proved very successful.

All three projects involved the co-ordination of complex services, specific operational and security requirements, and careful spatial planning. A very successful working relationship with the client ensured excellent outcomes on all three projects.