A university benchmark

Architectural aluminium glazing systems by Kawneer have helped a new hub building set a benchmark for the design of future developments in Europe’s first science park.

Kawneer’s AA100 SSG curtain walling, with AA720 doors and open-in side-hung vents, form the main structure to the two main facades of the £20 million John Bradfield Centre at the 151-acre Cambridge Science Park, owned by Trinity College Cambridge.

Its sinuous crescent-shaped form designed to BREEAM ‘excellent’ by architects Aukett Swanke was inspired by its lakeside setting and uses Kawneer’s curtain walling (with 50mm sightlines and 300mm feature caps), windows and doors on the main rear facade, where visitors enter the site, and on the main facade. A triple-height atria feature is arranged on an axis from the main entrance and is highlighted as an accent feature on the convex lakeside facade. These were installed over 10 months by JPJ Installations for main contractor SDC

Named after the biologist, entrepreneur and former senior bursar who founded Cambridge Science Park, the John Bradfield Centre received £4.5 million of government funding by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy as part of its pledge to invest in the UK’s Life Science industry. External materials express the sinuous form of the 55,600ft2 building using simple full-height vertical aluminium cladding, complemented by the Kawneer windows that run from floor to ceiling.

Aukett Swanke architect Nayan Dhamdachia, said: “The Kawneer systems met the overall vision that was set out during the early design stages in regards to the overall concept, thickness of profiles and sightlines. They integrate with openable panels and striking yellow fins. The glazed elements enhance the well-being of the building, bringing as much light as possible deep into the floorplates.”