Connect seating for lecture theatres

The design and evolution of an educational seating system that has diversified learning opportunities in universities throughout the world.

The £7m project, which was completed last year, successfully extends and refurbishes a 20th century warehouse building to create new head office accommodate for Hollybrook, with apartments above.

The dark grey brickwork of the extension is a deliberate contrast to the red of the existing building and aides the reading of the block as an abstract composition distinct from its neighbour. Across the project, the new elements where in a limited dark grey and white palette as a deliberate contrast to the multi-coloured original building. Within this palette, the colour of the bricks was chosen to match the metalwork of the new windows and roof extension while also picking up on the colour of engineered brickwork base. The extra-long bricks add a horizontal emphasis to brick and bond and pattern to distinguish it from the original building. The dark mortar colour was chosen to match the brickwork with recessed joints to increase the horizontal emphasis. Laser cut screens to the base add decorative interest to the curtain walling, car lift doors and entrance area. Again, these were coloured to match the adjacent metalwork and brickwork.

In addition to the appealing aesthetic characteristics of the masonry, the team’s decision to utilise brick as an external skin to the rainscreen façade build-up also simplified the construction and future maintenance of the project, satisfying all the various client bodies aspirations in terms of longevity, budget and time constraints.  The use of double soldier courses and coloured panels to the “wall” blocks along the park edge emphasizes their horizontality.  Their omission on the canal edge volumes emphasizes their verticality and enhances the “finger”-like quality of each wing.