The new 17,000m² Alan Turing Building at the University of Manchester has brought three schools of learning together, not previously taught in
the same building: astronomy, mathematics, physics and photon science. The building’s frontage enlivens the streetscape through the extensive use of glazing. The Alan Turing Building is a gateway, taking up its site with comfortable scale.
The client briefed Sheppard Robson to craft a new building with an innovative design, representing the aspirations of the University in becoming one of the world’s leading research institutions. Central to the design are three sliding ‘fingers’ which horizontally ‘push and pull’
to create dynamic cantilevered projections, articulating the elevations.
The building engages both University Place and Upper Brook Street with equal presence, providing significant active frontages, particularly at ground level, through the extensive use of glazing. Each level of accommodation is expressed as zinc clad ingot with flush horizontal slot glazing which, as a whole, creates a spectacular building for the new campus.
The over-sailing roof structure unifies the three fingers, acting as a host for roof level plant screening and a suspension system for the photovoltaic array, which produce 40,898kW hours per annum, translating intoa potential saving of 17,000kg of carbon dioxide each year. The form of the linear blocks maximise the potential for natural
ventilation and the atrium acts as an exhaust plenum, with roof level heat recovery.