Health & Human Sciences, Essex University
Pringle Richards Sharratt were commissioned to build a new building for the Department of Health and Human Sciences at the University of Essex’s Colchester campus. Importantly the building was to relate to the established campus masterplan and to use a palette of materials sympathetic to the surrounding buildings. The relatively simple three storey building was developed in close consultation with the department and staff to produce a close and comfortable fit with their requirements.
Workshop sessions enabled the client group to elect to select an option that exploits the local level changes and provides principle access at first floor level. A distinctive bridge works with the undulating landscape, signalling and leading to the department ‘front door’, delivering visitors to the transparent heart of the building. Gathered around this central hub are toilets, breakout spaces and the vertical circulation.
Internally, an offset circulation route produces shallow and deep space, closely matching the required pattern of regular cellular staff studies alongside larger teaching areas. The studies with blinkered windows are located on the south facing elevation, minimising solar gains but providing attractive, contemplative views across the landscape. The teaching spaces benefit from the cool north light provided by larger north facing windows.