The Practice has been involved with the University of Southampton Science Park continuously since 1999. The work has ranged from designing buildings and interior fit-outs to the provision of consultancy advice.
Benham Campus is a 5 hectare extension to the Science Park comprising five new buildings, totalling 9,500m2, supported by 300 car parking spaces set within a landscaped parkland.
The site is subject to a number of design constraints. It is close to the M27 motorway and visual and acoustic screening were a local authority requirement which necessitated the construction of an earth bund parallel to the motorway. Access to the site is restricted to one corner and there are strict height limitations. Within these parameters, the Practice has produced a modern, commercial design comprising a symmetrical layout of five buildings using a standard palette of materials and colours.
The buildings all have strong blue brick bases with entrances highlighted in red brick, with silver cladding panels breaking up the mass of brickwork and topped with low-pitched metal roofs. The building outlines are sharp and precise and contrast with the mature trees that surrounds them.
The buildings are set down into the landscaping to minimise their impact and mass and planting installed as part of the project will slowly envelope and soften the space over time.
Following the construction of buildings 3 and 4, building 5 has subsequently been completed. Its site has a steep slope from front to back so the building cuts into it to prove entrances on two levels, both at roadside and car park. This has an benefit of locating the plant rooms and cycle stores in a lower ground floor level and therefore not visible from the road.
A conference facility is provided at second floor level with an external terrace above the main entrance which looks across to building 4.
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