Further & Higher Education

University of St Andrews

Designed to foster interdisciplinary collaboration between medics and scientists to advance medical research.

Medical Science Building

Designed as a world-leading medical facility to attract students and academics from around the globe, this £33m award winning new Medical Sciences Building brings together medical science departments to nurture cross-departmental learning and research in a design which places emphasis on social interaction. Shared common areas, break-out spaces, views through, placing the cafe and courtyard at the heart of the plan to create an open social forum, all enliven debate and create a visionary learning and research environment. The 10,900 sq.m Medical Sciences building accommodates clinical skills, anatomy and teaching laboratories for medicine, biology and chemistry, medical research facilities, bio photonics department, lecture theatre facilities, offices and café, social and foyer spaces.

The building and its occupants are seen as a single entity; however the building diagram is split into two distinct elements. The eastern half, designed as an L-shaped block, contains non-specialist facilities such as offices, seminar rooms, a café, social and entrance areas, and the western half contains specialist or specific facilities such as anatomy, teaching laboratories, research laboratories and the 300 seat raked lecture theatre. This separation delivers a number of advantages and opportunities in terms of visual expression, sustainability, cost and organisation.

The eastern L-shaped half is designed generally to an office standard that offers flexibility and minimal servicing while maximising natural daylight and natural ventilation, whereas the western half requires a deeper plan to achieve functionality and has a greater level of servicing including, for example, a licensed area for teaching anatomy using embalmed human cadavers. The split also allowed each half of the building to respond as simply and directly as possible to its own functional requirements and enabled both sides to be built simultaneously with differing constructional and servicing strategies.

Energy efficiency, sustainability and environmental responsibility is wholeheartedly embraced to minimise raw energy consumption and maximise solar energy, natural daylighting and ventilation (where possible), and rainwater harvesting. Examples include splitting the accommodation into ‘light weight’ and ‘heavy weight’ so that areas where natural ventilation was suitable were grouped together. Maximum use was made, where appropriate, of free cooling and solar thermal heating contributes towards the domestic water demand in the building through 120m² of solar thermal collection panels mounted on the roof. The building was awarded a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating.