Thursday, October 06, 2016

Mini-Review of the University of Manchester’s new Engineering Building

Currently rising up on the University of Manchester’s historic campus is the new Manchester Engineering Campus Development. I really love the look of this building. Encompassing approximately. 870 000 sq. ft. it will provide expanded research and teaching space to the university. During the 1970s it seemed like many tech companies were attempting this same sort of sleek black aesthetic but coming away with an ominous and foreboding black blob instead. Credit goes to architecture firm Mecanoo of London for their light and sleek design that reminds me of lace but with a hyper-technical edge suitable for engineering. The whole rhythm of the façade says, “Hey, some important science is going on in here.” The project is striving for BREEM “Excellent” status with the help of Burohappold Engineering and props to Arup for their civil, mechanical, electrical and structural expertise on the project as each of those factors contribute to the building’s overall sustainability and here are executed to the highest degree. I think the University of Manchester will be very happy with their new building, though with the caveat this is a mini-review with little insight into the building’s layout. I suppose it’s possible the floorplan is a dog’s breakfast of lonely corridors and windowless classrooms but I doubt it considering the outlined project team. I love seeing wide public support for buildings with ambitious architectural goals. It means they will stand a chance to get the resources they need to state, loudly, in architectural terms, that these are our values are as a city and university.

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