Work has started this week on Manchester Metropolitan University’s Institute of Sport facility, designed by architecture firm BDP.
The project involves the refurbishment of 99 Oxford Road in the city centre, part of MMU’s Manchester campus.
The teaching and research facility is planned to house the Department of Sport and Exercise Science and become an international ‘centre of excellence’, housing researchers in musculoskeletal science from across the university, including the faculties of Science and Engineering, Business and Law, and Health, Psychology and Social Care.
Eric Wright Group is the main contractor, having been involved in the project from an early stage advising on the demolition and construction management strategy.
MMU hopes to open the building to students and staff in January 2022.
Michael Cambden, architect director at BDP’s Manchester studio, said the aim is to create an “inspiring teaching and research environment where students can be engaged throughout the day in different forms of study and learning”.
“In addition to the specialist research and teaching labs, students will have access to a range of structured, semi-flexible and social learning spaces,” he said.
“Our strategy for the design has been to minimise demolition of the existing building and improve energy efficiency, thereby reducing the level of embodied carbon investment.”
The south and east façades will feature a three-storey glazed elevation connecting learning spaces to the wider All Saints Campus. The north and east sides will be retained and clad in dark grey recyclable panels, under the plans.
The sports building is part of the university’s 2017-2027 Estates Investment programme, which includes a science and engineering building also designed by BDP.