Striking façade for Oxford University

Earth Sciences Building, Oxford University

 - FacadeforOxfordUniversity Building entrance

Airtec Glass was specified by Wilkinson Eyre Architects for the new Earth Sciences Building at Oxford University. This prestigious project has provided Oxford University’s Earth Sciences Department not only with a world-class teaching environment but also with excellent research facilities.

The Airtec Glass System creates a building facade that is not only striking in appearance but satisfies structural and architectural demands. The high quality system ensures excellent durability and elegance, whilst offering the architect and designers design flexibility.

Colin McAuley, Project Manager, RBDML, commented, “This is a very significant project for the university in the development of its science area and the architectural design of the building needed to reflect that. The Airtec Glass System has enabled the design to be realised and the Airtec team gave their technical support throughout the installation."

The new building is the flagship for the university’s redevelopment of its science area and provides laboratory and office space for around 400 students and staff. The purpose-built centre will enable the department to maintain its international reputation as a centre for research excellence as well as signalling to the wider public the interests and concerns of the users. The most striking element of the building is a “narrative” wall which will act as a shop front for the ideas and activities of the department.

 - FacadeforOxfordUniversity Dramatic overhang

Ben Parry, Commercial Director for Airtec systems commented, “We were delighted to be associated with this high profile and significant project for the university. The system provides and modern, elegant and sophisticated look to the building whilst complementing the adjacent listed buildings.”

The building has been designed around a strong sustainability ethos, exceeding targets set by the local planning department for its embodied energy, which stipulates a minimum of 20% recycled materials in buildings of this type.

 - FacadeforOxfordUniversity Close up of panels

The building also uses ground source heat pumps providing around 43% of the building energy needs and there is also a recycled rainwater system in place. The project has been shortlisted for the 2011 Brit Insurance Design Awards in association with the Design Museum. These awards showcase the most innovative and forward thinking designs from around the world spanning seven categories; one being architecture.