Brighton’s AEC to be designed by Hassell

Design practice Hassell will start work on the University of Brighton’s Advanced Engineering Centre (AEC) in August

International architecture and design studio, Hassell, has been appointed to design the University of Brighton’s new advanced engineering centre (AEC) at its Moulsecoomb campus in Brighton. This follows the 2014 win by Hassell to provide a unifying masterplan for all five of the university’s campuses – a £150 million redevelopment scheme.

The AEC will be approximately 3000 square metres, with a construction cost of around £14 million. The design will include new and refurbished accommodation, as well as high tech and design-led education facilities for mechanical, automotive and aerospace engineering. It will be a modern and adaptable education environment, designed for hands-on and innovative learning. 

The higher education funding council for England (HEFCE) is backing the university’s scheme with £5 million funding toward the project; HEFCE has committed to contributing a total of £200 million to support science, engineering, technology and mathematics students across the UK. Construction at Moulsecoomb is expected to start in August 2015, for completion in December 2016. 

Hassell principal, Julian Gitsham, explained that the plans will focus on creating experiences for students and staff. He said: “Our goal is for the learning at University of Brighton to be more than just a transfer of information, and we believe the right building design can help achieve that. The learning environment should facilitate experiences, interact sustainably with the surrounding biodiversity, and above all, engage. This Centre will encompass the entire spectrum of learning in the field of engineering, from start to finish.” 

Cutting edge additions and improvements at the university will not only enhance the Moulsecoomb campus by helping to educate the next generation of professional engineers, but will also support technology companies in the area. 

Professor Andrew Lloyd, University of Brighton’s dean of college of life, health and physical sciences, said: “The University of Brighton is championing the establishment of high quality engineering education and innovative research with partner organisations. We see this as making an important contribution to the establishment and sustainable growth of high tech companies across the region.” 

Hassell’s appointment to the scheme follows the launch of two similar advanced engineering buildings at the University of Queensland in Australia.

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