Project Spotlight: 10 West, University of Bath
AWW Architects, Bath
Shackerley helped AWW Architects’ 10 West scheme for the University of Bath to deliver a contemporary building that also references the historic city’s ubiquitous Bath Stone. The University’s Claverton campus sits on the hillside high above the World Heritage City and is undergoing a major redevelopment as part of the University’s 25-year masterplan. The £100 million three-year programme comprises construction of six buildings, including 10 West; a new home for the University’s expanding Department of Psychology. The building provides a suite of purpose-built laboratories in addition to general teaching areas, a 100-seater conference venue and a dedicated post graduate study area.
10 West was designed to maximise both views of the city and natural light, with glazed edifices to the north elevation and a central atrium. For the remainder of the façade, AWW Architects required a ventilated cladding system that would reflect the colour and patina of Bath’s stunning architecture while helping the building deliver contemporary impact that connects it to the modernist architecture of the existing campus.
For the north façade, semi-polished ‘honed’ SureClad® ceramic granite panels were specified in a beige tone that complements the views of the city opposite. For the west elevation the architect specified a darker beige tone of SureClad® ceramic granite in a natural, unpolished finish to help the building blend in with the tree line and create synergy with the natural environment. On the east and south elevations of the building, three beige colourways and a mix of sizes were arranged in a configuration that includes both landscape and portrait formats to create natural variation.
“The ceramic granite finishes play a big part in achieving a design that complements both the tradition of the city and the contemporary campus,” said Jane Eyles from the University of Bath.
“Ceramic granite is exceptionally hard and offers high performance abrasion resistance,” added AWW project lead, Charles Jordan, “So the panels will look just as good ten years from now as they did on the day we handed over the building.”
A total of 2900m2 of SureClad® ceramic granite ventilated façade system was specified. 1000m2 of this was provided by 1200 x 600 ‘Volcado’ panels, which provided a honed, smooth, semi-polished beige finish. Natural, unpolished beige ‘Batopilas’ was used in 1198 x 598 panels for 700m2 of the façade and a similar natural unpolished finish was provided for a further 1200m2 using 1198 x 598 panels in ‘Wolsey’ in a cream/ beige colourway.