Projects to look out for in 2020: Part III

Five Buro Happold projects kickstarting a new decade

In the last of our series highlighting some of the most interesting and technically challenging projects due to open in 2020.  From picture houses and theatres, to educational facilities and commercial buildings, there is much to look forward to this year.

Shanghai Library East, China

Shanghai Library East is a place where knowledge and learning will come to life. This dramatic monolith that appears to float above the tree canopy of the surrounding parkland was designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen. The main library will house 4.8 million books and sit atop two pavilions that contain a 1,200 seat performance venue, exhibition and events space, and a dedicated children’s library.

Image: SNL

Arranged as a series of open plan floors around a vast 60,000m3 central atrium, the library is designed as an open, inviting space in which people can move easily between levels and discover new collections, exhibitions and events. As building services engineers, our challenge was to develop systems that would realise a comfortable environment for visitors across this expansive layout and ensure the safe preservation of the library’s valuable books.

Buro Happold experts simulated and optimised a fully integrated passive and active fire and smoke control strategy for the large central atrium (as the architectural concept exceeded local code typical allowances). We worked closely with the Shanghai Fire Bureau to understand key concerns and demonstrate that the performance based fire engineering design meets both international best practice and fully satisfies local requirements, while  ensuring the architect’s vision of the centrepiece atrium could be realised, and obtained all necessary approvals.

Hyde Park Picture House, UK

A landmark in Leeds city centre, this project comprises the refurbishment of an original 1914 Grade II listed single screen cinema. Partly funded by the Heritage Lottery and part sponsored by the ‘Friends of the Hyde Park Picture House’, the redevelopment aims to preserve the cinema’s historic features whilst creating a more comfortable and accessible venue with a more sustainable business future.

The project will see the Picture House to reclaim its place as a vibrant heart within the local community. Image: Page \ Park Architects

Preservation of the cinema’s historic features is key, including the upgrading of the world’s only working gas lighting system. Alongside this, our building services team are working on the creation of a new functionality for the cinema, aiming to reduce its running costs and open it up to a whole new audience. So, look out for rave reviews as the Picture House will be re-opening its curtains in the new year.

10 George Street, UK

This project involves the major refurbishment of a city centre office block on Edinburgh’s celebrated George Street. With a tenant already lined up, the space is being tailored to meet their precise requirements and aspirations. The scheme aims to revitalise the building for a new long-term tenant, sympathetically remodelling the exterior and enhancing the internal accommodation.

Image: Reiach and Hall Architects

Carefully integrated systems provide an inviting space for the new tenant of 10 George Street, whilst reflecting the grand aesthetic of the area. With occupant experience and sustainability at the heart of its design, this development will sit deservedly on historic George Street.

Mountjoy Teaching and Learning Centre, UK

With sustainability and social interaction at the heart of the design, Mountjoy Teaching and Learning Centre will become a central element of Durham University’s campus. The new development comprises a new three-storey teaching facility, with a range of learning spaces, laboratories, lecture theatres and catering facilities.

Image: FaulknerBrowns Architects

The university lies close to Durham’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, including Durham Cathedral and Castle, meaning that the design was required to respond sensitively to environmental constraints. Alongside aiming for BREEAM Excellent rating on completion of this project, insect-friendly plants and native flora will be incorporated into the soft landscaping for the new building to ensure the conservation of natural habitats.

Our teams have provided essential input to realise the client’s vision for a highly sustainable campus building, and to ensure that the building is an asset to its environment. We have been working to establish the Mountjoy Centre as a flexible space with a nurturing learning environment, able to facilitate collaborative working, lecturing, and social spaces, all supporting the university’s position as a leading educational institution.

The Factory, UK

The Factory is a unique new cultural venue for Manchester. Developed on the former Granada Studios site, the interconnected performance spaces comprise a large warehouse building that contains a full technical grid and an adjoining, more conventional theatre. The spaces can be subdivided or work in tandem to create a unique spatial and technical backdrop for artists to create and present work.

Visual cross-section of The Factory
The divide between the two main spaces is moveable so each space can be operated independently as required, making the venue truly flexible. Image: OMA

Building on the success of the Manchester International Festival, The Factory will commission, create and present performances, visual arts and popular culture to a combined audience of up to 7,000. A centre for all types of arts and culture, it will offer space for artists and thinkers to make, explore and experiment, and for communities and individuals to meet, exchange ideas and learn new skills.

The Factory will provide huge benefit to the city of Manchester, securing its permanent place as a centre for creativity, innovation and learning in the city.

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