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Attracting the next generation of engineers

27 June 2018

For our first project at the University of Bristol, DKA worked with John Perkins Construction (JPC) to design and deliver phased refurbishment and interior design improvements to provide much needed additional teaching and research space for the Faculty of Engineering.

The refurbishment of the 1950s ‘Queen’s Building’ included remodelling the main reception, creating a new café, student study rooms, open plan offices, student support functions, general laboratories, break-out spaces and improved welfare facilities. The scheme also added greater flexibility and improved (and more inclusive) welfare facilities. DKA were lead designer and Principal Designer, managing the stakeholder meetings and coordinating the design.

The once dark and cramped main entrance has been transformed; original timber panelling and stone-faced walls were retained alongside a welcoming new reception area, including a showcase feature wall displaying typical engineering materials. The café and Student Study Rooms (SSRs) enjoy 24-hour access with large existing windows providing natural light to the space for meeting and eating. Similarly, the office spaces utilise the building’s high ceilings and large windows to maximum effect. Glazed partitions in strategic locations increase surveillance and suspended acoustic rafts manage the internal acoustic environment.

The new design provides a flexible, creative learning environment suitable for teaching, seminars, design sessions and group working. It will help attract and inspire the next generation of engineers.