Following on from the Postgraduate Statistics Centre, the Charles Carter Building and the Engineering Department building, the Health Innovation Hub is the fourth project John
McAslan + Partners has completed for Lancaster University.
This time the brief was to devise a masterplan for a preventive healthcare and medical research school. Accordingly, the architects’ design project is all about sectoral cross-fertilizing between hands-on
healthcare and innovative medical research.
The choice of site for the new extension not only took into account accessibility and connection to the rest of the campus and city - in this instance, a stretch of land lying between residential suburbs south of the city and the university campus with easy connections to major national and local roads - but also the need for a pleasant natural context. The topography of the surrounding landscape helps instill a sense of calm and wellbeing. Beyond the parkland surrounding the complex, the gently rolling hills are dotted with wooded dells and clusters of village cottages.
Distributed over 8,000 sq. m, the Health Innovation Hub comprises three juxtaposed volumes articulated across five
above-grade floors. The low-lying pavilion-like architectural form carefully disguises the building’s volume, resonating with the natural, slightly sloping topography.
In plan, these different dedicated spaces revolve around a subtly asymmetrical cross-section that enables easy orientation throughout the building and connects its different functions seamlessly. This creates a sense of cohesion while establishing a collegiate atmosphere helping to promote an appreciation of shared objectives among those using the building.
On the ground floor, a west-facing covered colonnade and plaza lead to the main entrance of the complex, a welcoming light-filled double and triple height atrium. A café and...
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