The Kydd Building, Abertay University

Abertay University invested in a new state of the art teaching and laboratory space for their science division in 2017.

  • Abertay University

  • Architect

    Oberlanders Architects LLP

This was seen as  essential to attract new students in an ever-competing higher education market place. The project ultimately had two objectives – remodelling of the Southern Elevation of the Kydd Building to replace the existing building envelope to bring it in line with the design of the surrounding university buildings, and reconfiguring and refurbishing internally to create state of the art teaching and laboratory spaces.

The south elevation occupies a prominent position as the topography rises and exposes this elevation to the public realm.  Careful consideration to the aesthetics influenced the design approach and the extension to the building was designed as a cantilever supported off the existing 1970’s concrete frame. A new light weight steel structure was designed with in-situ concrete slabs on metal decking, with a load balancing exercise undertaken to ensure that any additional load on the foundations was minimised.

Working with the brief, the design team worked collaboratively to resolve complex interfaces between the disciplines.  A strategy was developed to create light and space through large areas of glazing where previously there was none.  This involved angled window pods, orientated such to avoid overheating to the laboratory spaces as well as the use of fritted solar glazing.  The finished works satisfies the clients desire to create a more open treatment of the façade allowing the public to see into newly created laboratory spaces.

The remodelling of the façade included provision for PV panels, laboratory ductwork and service space behind riser external to the building envelope, large areas of glazing forming triangular oriel windows within a projecting ‘picture frame’ arrangement.

The use of BIM was a key requirement, and greatly improved the communication of design intent through to construction within the team, with continuous coordination and collaboration between all disciplines.