McAslan wins Lancaster engineering building

Architects John McAslan + Partners have won their sixth commission from Lancaster University, to design the new home for the engineering department.

The competition-winning scheme will deliver 50,700 sq ft of workshop, laboratory and office space in two concrete-framed wings set either side of a continuous, four-storey high atrium 'street'.

Lancaster engineering building The building is targeting a BREEAM 'outstanding' rating, which would be the second on the campus, and will consider combining multiple renewable energy sources including solar, wind and biomass provisions as part of a visibly demonstrable sustainable design strategy.

McAslan said the building would feature 'a dramatic metal staircase, dropped into the atrium, providing circulation and breakout spaces linking the two wings together. The route also serves as an architectural promenade providing views into the diverse workshop and laboratory areas of the Engineering Department.'

The proposal develops Lancaster's current masterplan, also by John McAslan + Partners. The selective demolition of a redundant sports centre will create an enlarged square in the heart of the campus, further enhancing the wider university environs.

Tony Skipper, managing director of John Mcaslan + Partners and director of the practice's Manchester office, said: "This will be our sixth project at Lancaster University. It is an exciting opportunity for the practice that not only builds on our extensive expertise in the higher education sector, but also on our ongoing relationship with the University, dating back to 2006. We look forward to the challenging task of creating a distinctive new home for the department, which will also provide an innovative, facility on the campus."

Mark Swindlehurst, director of facilities at Lancaster University, said: "Lancaster has a good track record in delivering well designed and sustainable buildings for its staff and students. This new Engineering Building will be a great addition to our campus and we are delighted to be working with John McAslan + Partners who share our vision."

Lancaster delivered the UK's first higher education building project to be rated 'outstanding' by the environmental performance measure BREEAM for both design stage and post construction review.

The Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts, designed by Sheppard Robson, won the Higher Education award at the BREEAM Awards 2012 in London. In addition, to date the University has delivered nine BREEAM excellent new build developments, including the £20m Sports Centre which opened in August 2010.

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