Berrick Saul Building


该项目是由 BDP 设计,位于英国。为约克大学人文科学研究中心,波状弯曲的外观,建筑面积大约3000平方米。


Following a competitive interview, BDP was appointed by the University of York in March 2006 to design a research building to accommodate the Humanities Research Centre (HRC) and the Institute for Effective Education (IEE). Construction started in spring 2008 and the building was handed over in June 2009. The procurement route was Design and Build with BDP employed by the University up to RIBA Stage E, then novated to work for the contractor. The centre is named after the University’s former Vice Chancellor as the Berrick Saul Building.

The site is in a prominent location at the centre of the Heslington West parkland campus, adjacent to the iconic Central Hall and the university lake. It was previously occupied by a single storey Languages Centre and abuts

a small wood to the east. Sited on University owned land the planning constraints were limited, apart from the need to ensure that Central Hall remains the dominant landmark on the campus.

The building brief required a mixture of dedicated departmental workspace, shared accommodation and a new campus wide IT server room. The building area would be approximately 3000m², and the budget c. £8.25 million. Integration with landscape, sustainability, a venue for conferences of international standing, promotion of inter disciplinary working, and the creation of a distinctive flagship building for IEE and HRC were identified as key requirements by the client.

From the outset the major design concept was to create a strong connection with nature, encapsulated by the idea of “studying in the trees”. This led to the development of the building’s curved plan form which wraps around a mature tulip tree, turning a constraint into an opportunity, hugging the edge of Spring Wood. Placing the building on the east of the site allowed the creation of a new public space to the west, greatly improving the setting for Central Hall especially when approached from the north.

The Berrick Saul Building is comprised of two main elements: a sinuous curved wing of accommodation and three circular pods (one enclosed large pod and two open pods for escape stairs). The long elevations of the curved spine feature zinc cladding to upper levels on a base of either glazing or timber, depending on location. All circular pods are clad in timber boarding. They are connected to the main spine via either glazed or open links, which ensure that the primary building constituents are clearly expressed as separate elements. Zinc and timber were chosen for their ‘natural’ character and their ability to accommodate the complex geometry of the building. The detailing of the zinc and timber has been carefully considered to give a tactile and hand crafted appearance, in keeping with the surroundings of Spring Wood.

The main curved wing comprises a mixture of cellular and open plan office accommodation for researchers at upper levels with a large “treehouse” pod providing opportunities for study and seminars at first floor level and specialist educational psychology labs on the floor above. At ground level the treehouse becomes a lecture theatre, and the main wing accommodates a generous foyer, seminar rooms, split level post graduate study space and an IT server room.

On the woodland side the building’s façade slopes back opening out to the tree canopies above. The sloping section is actually driven by the accommodation programme with the larger shared spaces occupying the wider footprint at ground level, and the smaller individual offices the narrower space at upper levels.

The circular lecture theatre features a large picture window centred on the tulip tree. This allows the speaker to be seen against the backdrop of nature rather than a more conventional black box. From the glazed foyer views are offered out across the landscape, back into the lecture theatre, and into the study space behind the reception desk. This transparency provides visitors with an immediate impression of activities within the building, and connects inside and outside. Working with the site’s natural topography the lower level of the study space is partially sunk into the ground, placing the perimeter study desks at lawn level. This offers researchers a delightful “rabbit’s eye” view of wildlife foraging through the undergrowth. The combination of special study places within the Berrick Saul Building provides an original and stimulating environment.

Through its organic geometry the Berrick Saul Building acts as a counterpoint to the surrounding blocky 1960s buildings. This geometry also provides ever changing views for occupants moving through the building, and ensures that the wonderful aspects south across the lake and east into Spring Wood are fully exploited.

The building is designed to minimise energy usage with a narrow plan form, good natural daylighting and is predominantly naturally ventilated. It is a flat slab concrete framed structure with concrete soffits exposed as part of the building’s environmental strategy. Generally concrete soffits are painted, except for the naturally finished concrete radial beams in the lecture theatre which add great drama to the interior.

The Berrick Saul Building was delivered on budget with the contractor Morgan Ashurst achieving its objective of perfect delivery – snag free, on time, and with a delighted client.

Jane Moody, Acting Director of the Humanities Research Centre, has commented:

“Everybody is delighted how light it is inside and by the wonderful integration of the landscape into the building on the Spring Wood side in particular”.


设计事务所 BDP
地点 英国, 曼彻斯特
面积 3,000 平方米
摄影 © David Barbour/BDP




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目录: 建筑, 教育
地点: 英国, 曼彻斯特