Edinburgh university moves forward with geosciences plan

An artist's impression of the central atrium of the new school planned for the geosciences department at the University of Edinburgh: Picture: Contributed
An artist's impression of the central atrium of the new school planned for the geosciences department at the University of Edinburgh: Picture: Contributed
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A FIRM of architects established by one of the best known Scots in the industry has won a major international design contest to build a new school for the University of Edinburgh.

John McAslan + Partners (JMP) will prepare plans for a new a £60m campus for the university’s school of geosciences, which will be built at the King’s Buildings complex in the south side of the city.

The new school of geosciences will be built at the King's Buildings complex. Picture: Jon Savage

The new school of geosciences will be built at the King's Buildings complex. Picture: Jon Savage

The new building will be 20,000sq/m and centre on a feature atrium to help facilitate physical and visual connections between departments as well as encourage communication between researchers by opening up previously closed teams.

Other features will include a reinterpretation of standard laboratory layouts to further enhance transparency between write-up areas, group rooms and offices as part of a general consolidation of disparate functions.

In a statement the University said: “At the heart of the building will be a central hub which connects the different parts of the building. This hub will be an inspiring and inclusive meeting space where staff and students can interact informally, where geographers meet climate scientists and ecologists meet geophysicists, where ideas, innovation, partnerships and friendships can flourish.”

The project is currently still in its early stages with detailed designs to be published in due course.

Hannah Lawson, project director at JMP, said:“Our concept for the new building is for a global meeting place - a vibrant space that creates an atmosphere of discovery and encourages the interaction and exchange of ideas relating to the factors and forces that shape our world.

“The new building will significantly enhance the school’s reputation as a world-class academic community.”

John McAslan, a graduate of Edinburgh, has completed a number of high-profile projects including the renovation of The Roundhouse arts venue in North London and the new concourse at King’s Cross station.

READ MORE: City of Glasgow College shortlisted for architectural prize