This new building is sited directly opposite the world renowned Mackintosh Building, which was badly damaged by a serious fire in May. The structure needed to be sustainable, functional and able to hold its own next to its striking neighbour. The building is built over the existing 1930’s Assembly Building which has been retained and internally remodelled to maintain its function as the students’ union. The structure comprises a sculptural concrete form with 5m diameter, 12 degree inclined perforated concrete tubes rising up through the main atrium space. The concrete frame structural grid keeps columns to a minimum with generous 7m overhangs where the new building sails over the old.
This building impressed the judges for the bold structural engineering approach to the site and the clear expression of the building’s engineering heart. The engineers have made a clear contribution to the success of the building, showing creativity and courage in the engineering solutions that are clearly expressed inside. This is a building that has integrity and strength of character to stand confidently alongside its revered neighbour well into the next century.