BAM designs Bragg building at University of Leeds

WCN Editorial Team 17 Mar 2021 EUROPE BUILDINGS

Construction company BAM has built and formally handed over a new teaching and research facility for the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences to the University of Leeds.

Named after former Leeds University professor Sir William Henry Bragg, winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1915, the new building will house the School of Physics and Astronomy and the School of Computing.

With the project starting four years ago, focus of work now shifts towards the interior. Building inauguration is scheduled for autumn.

University of Leeds’ Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences executive dean, professor Nora De Leeuw said: “Experience tells us that the big questions in science will only be tackled when researchers from different disciplines collaborate on solving problems. From the outset, that has been at the heart of the design brief for the new Bragg building. The building is a place for people to collaborate.

“Sir William Henry Bragg’s work has shaped modern science. And it is my firm belief that the research that will be conducted in the building that takes his name will extend that legacy.”

The Bragg building has been designed to withstand the vibration of passing traffic, so that ultra-sensitive laboratory instruments are not interfered with. Its basement holds sensitive equipment, such as the most advanced electron microscope technology in the UK, and also houses the Wolfson Imaging Facility.

Bragg Centre for Materials Research director, Professor Edmund Linfield said: “The superb facilities in the Bragg building will allow us to engineer materials at the atomic and molecular scale, and undertake internationally-leading science and engineering.  It will also allow us to strengthen further our extensive interaction with academia and industry and build new research partnerships.”

Professor Nick Plant, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation, said: “The University is investing in high-quality student facilities and world-class research capability, which will allow Leeds to continue to play an important role in strengthening the UK’s economic and industrial future.”

The BAM-designed Bragg Building mimics the 1930-built old School of Mining. While retaining the Grade II listed structure’s Portland stone façade, the space behind it has been remodelled. A walkway now connects with a new seven-storey glass-and-steel complex housing teaching rooms and laboratories.

Leeds University estate and facilities team senior project manager David Oldroyd, who oversaw the construction, said: “This is the largest single project that the University has undertaken since the 1970s, and the result is stunning. The building is a testament to the University’s investment in its research capability for decades to come. It creates a vibrant and collaborative space for academics and students to share knowledge and experience.”

Independent assessor BREEAM awarded the Bragg building an Excellent grading for its sustainability.


Construction company BAM has built and formally handed over a new teaching and research facility for the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences to the University of Leeds. Credit: Dave Noonan/Pixabay.

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