The distinctive zinc-clad, curving form of our New Faculty Building on Anglia Ruskin University’s Rivermead Campus responds to the site masterplan and location on a shallow sweep of the River Chelmer. Our design provides flexible accommodation for the Faculty of Science & Technology and the Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences, which were both relocated from central Chelmsford.
The four storey building contains a variety of teaching spaces, with seminar rooms, a training courtroom, computer suites, workshops and design studios together with a 150-seat raked floor lecture theatre. In addition to future flexibility, a key aspect of the brief was for the design to encourage informal interaction in support of the more formal learning activities. Enabling this are student ‘break-out’ areas located off the generous circulation routes at all levels, as well as a glazed meeting and exhibition space at the ground floor.
The exterior is predominantly clad in blue-grey zinc, with an alternating rhythm of storey-height glazed openings above a rendered ground floor plinth. We accentuated the twin entrance cores with deep recesses on the east, and projections on the west elevations. We also introduced panels of cedar boarding in these areas, further highlighting the cores and offering a material connection to the adjacent Student Union building.