The building takes full advantage of the sloped site, arranging the dramatic foyer and circulation spaces overlooking views of the surrounding countryside. The complex site required substantial ecological, archaeological and ground investigations, which placed significant pressure on the budget. The design adapted to the typology and was sensitive to the local environment.
Numerous sustainability features were incorporated, including biomass heat generation, wind chimney cooling and earth tube natural cooling to the conference facilities.
The £10m Centre will help existing and start-up companies to grow and thrive and will create more than 140 jobs. The building targets creative and innovative media entrepreneurs and provides exciting working, meeting and socialising spaces.
AHR Advanced Design Group was commissioned by the Technology Strategy Board as part of the Building Performance Evaluation programme to undertake a ‘compare and contrast’ study of this innovation centre. The study will be looking to understand how innovation centres support new businesses by comparing their performance, comfort and usability and seeing how they can improve and reduce their emissions in operation. These evaluations offer the potential for future projects to benefit from lessons learned.