Contractor, Gilbert-Ash, secures £26m Brunel University job

By Ariana Abawe.

A UK construction and refurbishment contractor, Gilbert-Ash has clinched a £26m contract to build a new Learning and Teaching Centre at Brunel University London.

Brunel University’s 1960s building is being replaced and developed by the University’s design

Photo credits: Bob Dutt

team, including Penoyre & Prasad, bought last November by Perkins & Will, and engineer BDP.

The new learning and teaching centre (LTC) is set at the edge of the landscaped quad and the building will be perpendicular to the Grade II listed Brutalist Central lecture block.

It is due to finish next September ready for the start of the 2021/22 academic year. This will replace the John Crank building, originally known as the mathematics building, which was completed in 1968 and was home to the School of Mathematical Studies.

John Crank was demolished 51 years later in July 2019.

The new building will be seven storeys. It will provide Independent study spaces for individuals and groups at each level of the building, IT enriched active learning spaces, staff and student support spaces, balconies through the central atrium, and a Café and exhibition space at ground level.

Photo credits: Lydia Johnson, Fettle Studio.

All parts of the building will be conceived as potential learning spaces.

The front of the new LTC is designed to have a light and transparent façade, which will feature glazed ceramic tiles which ceramic artist Lydia Johnson of Fettle Studio has been developing.

Johnson said: “It was a wonderful process to craft these textures and glaze effects in my studio, in close collaboration with the architects, and then travel to NBK in Germany to scale the design up for large scale factory production.”

This project is part of a £150m investment into the university’s campus over five years. The money will be spent on the following: a new engineering complex and a sports and wellbeing centre.


Photo credits: architect Penoyre & Prasad

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