Sheppard Robson has designed an innovative two-storey ‘Active Learning Lab’ as the striking centrepiece to the redevelopment of the
Department of Engineering at the University of Liverpool. The scheme provides the department with up-to-date facilities through the refurbishment of four existing buildings, creating a new entrance foyer and courtyard to act as the hub of the department.
The Lab is a double-height, part-naturally ventilated, glass-clad structure which, by reusing the columns supporting an existing 1960s nine-storey tower, appear to float above the existing podium building
below. The outer skin of reflective and fritted glass panels provides a statement building which reflects, the surrounding architecture.
There are extensive views from the Lab west towards the city centre, south across to the Metropolitan Cathedral and north across the
University campus. Innovation The new entrance foyer is a fully glazed, three-storey full-height extension to the red brick Alfred
Waterhouse-designed Victorian buildings, which will for the first time knit together the disparate buildings of the site. The new Lab
is designed to promote the department’s industry-orientated undergraduate curriculum, which is based on the principles
of CDIO: Conceive, Design, Implement, Operate. Enabling project work to be carried out in groups and allowing the exhibition of full sized replica models.