Involving internal rejuvenation, as well as external restoration, and a new 3-storey building construction, the School of Business was an exciting project involving SWH’s civil and structural engineering services, on a heritage site.
Scott White and Hookins were delighted to provide civil and structural design services as part of the design team, for this project. It comprised of both external and internal refurbishment of several existing buildings on site, for the School of Business at the Brookfield Campus, as well as construction of a new building.
The new home of the School of Business is situated in the historic Stoneygate Conservation Area.
Brookfield House was built in 1870 and is the former residence of Thomas Fielding Johnson, founder of the University of Leicester. Understandably, the house is an iconic building at the University of Leicester, as well as other surrounding buildings. The project involved both rejuvenating the internal spaces to provide modern, up-to-date teaching facilities, whilst also restoring and maintaining the existing façade.
In addition, there was construction of a new 3 storey building, which now provides a modern office and learning space for staff and students.
One of the interesting challenges of this project was how best to conceal the large AHUs needed to ventilate the new building. In order to do this, an existing out building was transformed into a plant room with large ductwork buried below the courtyard to transfer fresh and old air to the new building. To conceal the large ductwork entering the structure, an existing chimney stack from a separate outbuilding that was demolished on site was carefully removed, stored and re-built using the same bricks around a steel structure, adjacent to the new lecture theatre, to retain a special feature from this heritage site.
Seamlessly mixing modern facilities with heritage architecture - both internally and externally, as well through refurbishment and a new build - was a challenge, but an element of this project that was important to get right. We feel it led to a fantastic end result.
In recognition of this, the project has been nominated in the refurbishment and revitalisation category at the RICS awards, and also received a Highly Commended recognition at the Education Estates Awards.
Image credit: Shepherd Epstein Hunter