UWC Computational Science
The concept for the New UWC Computational and Mathematical Sciences Complex is to both encourage and facilitate departmental connectivity and establish a strong presence in the Sciences Precinct by linking the four previously independent existing wings through the use of a common spine.
The spine serves as the central connecting element that allows the building to function as a series of shared/ common spaces and to have clear legibility and improved functionality. This is realised as a transparent, naturally ventilated glass structure with a light steel roof in order to bring natural light and visual connection to landscaped campus spaces, in contrast to the adjoining facebrick structures.
The design allows for inclusion and consolidation of 4 separate functioning Departments; Mathematics, Computer Science, Statistics and Information Systems into a single facility. This facility is located between Precinct B and Freedom Square on the campus, providing a new node around a series of open spaces which provides landscaping opportunities within a series of linked courtyards.
The redeveloped facility’s capacity supports the current and future demands of the university’s academic programme plan, providing lecture theatres, classrooms, student labs and flexible computer labs, offices for academic and administrative staff, postgraduate and PhD students as well as general administrative functions.
The new facility employs various campus planning and landscaping methodologies in order to link, previously separated university spatial precincts. The East-West orientated foyer has dual entrances in order to link the previously isolated Freedom Square and University Avenue, and also reinforces existing pedestrian routes. In addition, the two transverse entrances at Wing 1 and Wing 4 creates links between other campus buildings towards the North and South campus precincts.
The sustainable design solution adopted links the existing buildings, consisting of 12m wide isolated structures orientated in a north-south direction, with a central east-west linkway circulation zone. This proves to be more cost efficient than a complete new building, and in combination with strategic demolition and additions , the required accommodation schedule as determined by the User Client brief is also satisfied. In addressing the immediate need for increased teaching spaces, the design strategy considers construction programming to assist the university to reach the goal of being operational within the 2018 academic year.
The design further encourages by means of demonstration, that the University policy to repurpose and re-use existing buildings can be seen as innovative and viable for future projects.