Contractor Willmott Dixon and architect Hawkins\Brown have been awarded the £8m contract to extend the University of Manchester’s Schuster Building.
The contract is Willmott’s first with the university, and was procured through the Scape National Major Works framework.
The works form part of the university’s £1bn campus masterplan, designed to create a world-class campus for staff, students and visitors by 2022.
Willmott Dixon has a strong track-record of working with universities, using its knowledge of live-environment working to minimise disruption. Projects include creating a living green wall for Teesside University, building and extending Birmingham City University’s Curzon building, plus Bournemouth University’s new flagship Fusion building and Leicester University’s Centre for Medicine, the UK’s largest non-residential Passivhaus facility.
The Schuster Building on Brunswick Street is home to the School of Physics & Astronomy and the new annexe on the eastern side of the building provides space to grow the school and take in additional students in this discipline.
Willmott Dixon is working with Manchester-based architects Hawkins\Brown on the four-storey extension, which will deliver 25,000 sq ft of accommodation on unoccupied land at the corner of Upper Brook Street and Brunswick Street, directly connected to the Schuster Building via a metal bridge.
This expansion will enable the department to cater for the growing interest in physics and other STEM, or science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects following a significant increase in applications to the School of Physics & Astronomy in recent years.