Daphne Jackson Building
University of Surrey, UK
Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners
CAP Aluminium Systems Ltd.
Designed by Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners, it is the first of a number of buildings that will form UniS’s Advanced Technology Inst. and is a symbol of the University’s international reputation for excellence in semiconductor microelectronics research. The Daphne Jackson building is a four-storey structure consisting of ground floor, mezzanine and levels one and two. It contains highly controlled laboratories, clean rooms and offices, with the heavier laboratories and clean rooms located on the six metre high ground floor.
Jason Embley, project architect, comments on the design of the building: “The University wanted the building to have a different look and feel to others on the campus, with as open a face as possible, which is why its ‘public’ façade to the south is transparent. We wanted to invite passers-by to look in and see the activities of the building, which we have tried to push to that face. We also wanted to maximise the amount of natural light penetrating deep into the building.”
The glass façade was constructed by CAP Aluminium using Kawneer’s PF curtain walling. “One of the things we like about the Kawneer system is its aesthetics; the fact that each panel looks the same whether it is an opening vent or a fixed light,” explains Embley The Kawneer system is a semi-unitised, thermally insulated, picture frame curtain walling system, with what is often described by architects as a split mullion. The traditionally beaded version used on the Daphne Jackson building has glazing panels with a 28mm wide visible face, which, in combination with a 14mm recess between the panels gives an overall sight line of 70mm. A structurally glazed version is also available that gives an all glass façade, save for a 14mm recessed gap between each pane. The system is mullion-drained. The coherent aesthetics of the Kawneer PF system were also important for Embley from a ventilation point of view. “Every second window on the south façade is an opening vent, allowing as much natural ventilation into the building as possible. Air conditioning is only required when it gets above a certain temperature.”
Project Report (PDF):