Life Sciences

Opening 2014: A £54 million state of the art building,  exploring new horizons in biology and medicine

Public realm landscape

Public realm works and extensive landscaping will link St Michaels Hill and Tyndall Avenue to Royal Fort House and its adjoining gardens.

Project outline

The University has appointed VINCI Construction UK to lead on the development of an iconic building that will regenerate 13,500 of space in the heart of Bristol.  The new site will provide outstanding laboratories for science teaching and will enhance the undergraduate experience by facilitating research-led study and staff-student interaction.

  • January 2012: contract agreed with VINCI
  • April 2012: construction due to begin
  • December 2013: construction work due for completion
  • January 2014: building opens for use
Mockup of the new building

Mockup of the new building

Background

The site for the new Life Sciences building used to house the disused ward blocks of the Old Children’s Hospital, the 1960s Focus Centre and two blocks of houses. The listed frontage of the Old Children’s Hospital will be retained. The rest of the site will be transformed to house the School of Biological Sciences, currently located in early 1900s listed building on Woodland Road.

This flagship project, coupled with a raft of new academic appointments, underscores the University's belief that many of the 21st century's most exciting and important scientific advances will come from biology and that the next generation of graduates will have unprecedented opportunities.

entry from st michaels hill

Entry from St Michael's Hill

Sustainability

Located at the centre of the precinct, the building will couple central positioning with the best in sustainable design and energy efficiency including:

  • BREEAM Excellent rating
  • Naturally ventilated offices
  • Maximum use of natural daylight with automatic control of artificial lighting as back-up. Lighting will be low energy and designed to avoid pollution of the night sky
  • Solar panels to pre-heat domestic water
  • Stonework reclaimed from demolished buildings on site
  • Use of high efficiency plant and equipment
mockup of new laboratories

Mockup of new laboratories

Organising the building

The building will form a research hub for interdisciplinary research, advancing scientific research across the University's vast portfolio of expertise. Based on an iconic and imaginative design, the space will be split into three zones, including:

  • a five-storey laboratory wing complete with acoustic chambers, spectroscopy and microscope rooms, clean rooms, a double height plant room and green houses for plant studies;
  • a central atrium,  comprising teaching and research laboratories, seminar rooms, computer facilities, staff offices and a café;
  • the best views of the city from the crest of St Michael's Hill.

Video Flythrough

Take a virtual tour in, through and around the Life Sciences building as it will be upon completion, created by the architects, Sheppard Robson.

Preparatory works

Preparatory works

Preparatory works

Evidence of the preparatory works by Birse Civils on the corner of Tyndall Avenue and St Michael's Hill.  This includes the significant excavation of the site which is now up to 7 metres lower than ground level, as marked by the Nanoscience and Quantum Information building on the left.

Enabling works

Enabling works

Enabling works

Evidence of the pad foundations and ground drainage works by VINCI. You can also glimpse part of one of the blue tower cranes that reach high above the City.

Latest Image

Lower Ground Floor

Lower ground floor

Completion of basement floor slabs and construction of main stair/lift core structures.

Latest Image

Ground Floor

Ground floor

Construction now reaches ground floor level.

Latest Image

The new building climbs

The new building climbs

A glimpse of the spectacular views the new building will provide over Bristol.

Site Image

Site image

Site image

Image of the Life Sciences site as the concrete frame nears full height.

Concrete frame complete

Concrete frame complete

Concrete frame complete

The concrete frame has completed and steel work has begun on the upper floor for plant and research space (top left).

Latest Image

Latest image on site

Latest image on site

A view looking across to Tyndall Avenue showing the height the building has reached next to its neighbour, Nanoscience and Quantum Information.

Landscaping works

Landscaping works

Landscaping works

Ground preparation begins for the start of public realm works in spring 2013.

Research space

Research space

Research space

The plant and research area is heading towards completion. Steel has been erected for the glass screen on the roof.

Cladding

Cladding

Cladding

The west elevation is being transformed as the cladding work progresses.

Landscaping

Landscaping

Landscaping

The new pedestrian link from St Michael's Hill has commenced. The Physics Building can now be viewed as you ascend the main steps.

Cafe

Cafe

Rooftop Cafe

The new rooftop cafe is coming to completion and will offer the best views in Bristol to enjoy a cup of coffee.

Exterior

Exterior

St Michael's Hill frontage

The removal of scaffolds on the St Michael's Hill elevation has commenced, revealing the Bath stone facade.

Construction

Construction

Construction continues

Construction continues to the lab block (yellow exterior wall in this photo) and on the full height atrium that will separate the laboratory and office spaces.

Progress in October

Progress in October

Progress in October

The glass screen for the atrium has completed and final touches are being added to complete the aluminium rain screen cladding on the laboratory block.

West elevation

West elevation

West elevation

As the cladding and air units for the laboratories are complete, the west elevation of the building looks transformed.

Exterior

exterior

St Michaels Hill frontage

Most of the scaffolding has now come down from the St Michael's Hill frontage, displaying the beautiful Bath stone. Improvement works will now commence to the road and pavement.

Tyndall Avenue frontage

Tyndall Avenue frontage

Tyndall Avenue frontage

The main entrance to the new building is coming to completion and is now proudly marked as the University's new Life Sciences Building. Behind the building, landscape works are well underway and footpaths to the new building.

Internal works

Internal works

Internal works

Large areas of the academic and office spaces are into their final stages and the commissioning has started sucessfully.

Cafe

cafe

SkyLounge Cafe

The Sky Lounge, located on the top floor of the building on the eastern elevation is fully furnished and will be providing a superb location for a coffee break.

Terrace

Terrace

Cafe Terrace

The cafe opens out onto the spectacular rooftop terrace, providing some of the best views of Bristol to enjoy a cup of coffee.

Greenhouses

Greenhouses

Greenhouses

Greenhouse area as part of the five storey laboratory wing.

Proud owners

Proud owners

Internal works

Many rooms offer a remarkable view across different areas of the University precinct. This one looks out over the Arts and Social Sciences library, adjacent to the grand title of the building which hovers over the entrance.

Atrium

Atrium

Atrium

The grand atrium of the Life Sciences building, viewed from the entrance elevation at 3rd floor level.

Breakout space

Breakout space

Four levels of teaching, research and study

A view from the laboratory wing displaying the different areas for social study and breakout meeting space for study and teaching groups.

Seminar space

Seminar space

Seminar space

As well as large teaching laboratories, smaller seminar spaces are also provided for teaching.

Academic office

Academic office

Staff offices

The building includes new accommodation for staff in the School of Biological Sciences.

Laboratory space

Laboratory space

Laboratory space

The laboratory spaces include smaller areas for research but also feature larger laboratories for teaching with enhanced technology for staff-student interaction.

  • video flythrough