Inside Edinburgh Uni’s cutting-edge bioscience centre

Atkins' brief was to design a building reflecting the innovative work happening inside, as well as providing a bright and modern space to attract world class inhabitants

The University of Edinburgh’s £32 million Charnock Bradley Building is home to the Roslin Innovation Centre, for companies undertaking strategic, commercial and collaborative research in animal and veterinary sciences, agri-tech and One Health industries. The building serves as a hub for the campus, providing core facilities, including a gym, and also houses the Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre for engaging the public with science.

Bridging two elements

The heart of the centre is a glazed atrium incorporating a series of bridges at higher levels, linking laboratory spaces in the building’s two distinct wings.

Atkins looked to make the space as bright and open as possible, so specified a structurally glazed wall and glass roof to minimise framing and provide clear uninterrupted views.

The architects worked closely with specialist façade contractor, Charles Henshaw & Son, and the Pilkington design team. This resulted in the highly engineered Pilkington Planar™ system to create a striking glass atrium.

High clarity and strength

Insulated glass units on both the walls and roof utilise Pilkington Suncool™ 66/33 OW on 12mm Pilkington Optiwhite™, a true low-iron substrate providing excellent thermal performance, aesthetics and views.

The transparency and aesthetics of the atrium were further enhanced by the use of 19mm Pilkington Optifloat™ Clear THS toughened and heat-soaked glass fins to support the vertical glazing and laminated glass beams. Whilst free from any framing, the wall and roof glazing are exceptionally strong and able to withstand challenging design loads from high winds or snow fall on the roof.

Additional features used in the roof glazing include the incorporation of a toughened laminate inner pane, enhancing the structural performance and safety of the glazing, and the use of a screen print dot matrix pattern to improve environmental performance.