Manchester Engineering Campus Development

Manchester Engineering Campus Development

Manchester, United Kingdom

Size: 81,000 m2
Status: Completed
Project Design: 2014 - 2018
Project Realisation: 2017 - 2022
Address: Grosvenor Street, Upper Brook Street and Booth Street East.
Client: University of Manchester.

Design Team: Mecanoo (Lead Architect), Penoyre & Prasad (refurbishment and extension of Odd Fellows Hall), BDP (detailed design). Multidisciplinary engineering services provided by Arup. The main contractor was Balfour Beatty plc and it was project managed by Buro Four, with Buro Happold as the Environmental Sustainability Advisor.

Programme: Technical university with 81.000 m2 for 4 engineering departments (MACE: Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, EEE: Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, CEAS: Department of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science, Department of Materials) and two research institutes of the faculties Engineering and Physical Sciences with MEC Hall of 59,000 m2, new construction and renovation of teaching and research areas including lecture halls, a wide range of laboratories (1161 m2 laser labs, 8784 m2 dry labs, 2412 m2 chemical labs, 630 m2 biochemical labs, 1141 m2 laboratory for electron microscopy, cleanrooms, meeting and conference rooms, workshops, offices, student facilities, café and restaurant).

Awards: ICE - Institution of Civil Engineers - North West Awards, Large Project of the Year Award 2022.

Photography: Greg Holmes Photography.

The renewal of the Manchester Engineering Campus Development (MECD) is one of the UK's most large-scale higher education projects. MECD houses four technical departments, two research institutions, and is home to a community of 8,000 students and staff. MECD has created a world-leading teaching, learning and research facility to develop the engineers, scientists and innovators of tomorrow.

MECD consists of six buildings: three new buildings, a monument including an extension and two existing university buildings that have been redesigned. The largest building, MEC Hall, is the beating heart of MECD and is surrounded by the other educational buildings. With its robust appearance, MEC Hall determines the image of the engineering campus. A place where all departments come together. Four atria are connected to the different departments. The transparent facades of the plinth showcase the spaces and make students curious about what is happening inside.

The facade above the plinth consists of a vertical grid of metal slats, giving the building a technical appearance. Gardens on different floors bring daylight deep into the building and provide a green and healthy learning environment. A second-floor walkway connects MEC Hall to the building on Upper Brook Street, which houses a large teaching lab combined with a group teaching lecture hall.

The Victorian Oddfellows Hall, at the north entrance to the campus, has been expanded to include Professional Support Services offices. MEC Hall is future-proofed through a modular floor plan that makes internal reorganisation easy. Offices, laboratories and open spaces can easily be expanded or change functions. The development hosts a wide range of flexible hi-specification laboratories and lecture spaces, incorporating blended learning facilities, workshops and a ‘maker space’ where students will see their engineering creations come to life.

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