By Bennetts Associates
Client University of Edinburgh
Awards RIAS Award 2021 and RIBA National Award 2021
This is the final phase of the University of Edinburgh’s Potterrow development, which was commenced in 2003, and creates a permeable pedestrian environment at ground level with a central courtyard.
It is a building for research, business and learning, designed to enable collaboration between different groups of users who are part of the data industry. It is designed around a tiered atrium criss-crossed with various horizontal and vertical links that encourage people to linger and exchange ideas.
The building is clad with prefabricated stone panels that match the local stone used for neighbouring buildings, along with polished white precast cladding to reflect sunlight in the courtyard. Landscaped roof terraces allow for spectacular views of the city and surrounding hills. Internally the exposed concrete frame is modified with acoustic baffles and oak finishes providing a sense of warmth.
It is a rigorous and adaptable design that should robustly meet the changing requirements of the University, and positively support the urban activity alongside the Student Union and McEwan Hall.