Bristol University Building: Biological Sciences + Mathematics

Bristol University Building, Biomaths Project, Photo, News, Design, Property, Image

Bristol University : Biological Sciences + Mathematics

Education Development in south west England – design by Sheppard Robson

page updated 31 Jul 2016 ; 7 Apr 2009

Bristol University Building

Bristol University Biomaths Project Receives Planning

Design: Sheppard Robson

Sheppard Robson has gained planning approval for Bristol University’s new Department of Biological Sciences and Department of Mathematics. The prominent 9,940m² site is located within Tyndall’s Park Conservation Area, in close proximity to a multitude of historic Grade I and Grade II listed buildings.

The proposal was articulated to distinguish the disparate faculties within two clearly identifiable and independent buildings; a bold design statement, yet a sympathetic response to the surrounding cultural heritage.

Bristol University Building
picture from architects

The 7,580m² Department of Mathematics is circular in form, the centrepiece to a newly reinstated courtyard area defined by the listed Department of Physics to the west and north, and the new Department of Biological Sciences to the east.

The circular design helps reduce the visual mass of the building, improving circulation around the public realm – a newly landscaped area stitching together the built form and pedestrian routes around the site.

In contrast, the 13,580m² Department of Biological Sciences is a rectilinear form, broken down into two linear blocks, aiming to resolve the architecturally diverse urban edges on St Michaels Hill and Tyndall Avenue. The blocks are separated by a full length atrium that forms the social heart of the building and optimises the penetration of natural light.

The 1927 Grade II listed neo-renaissance Physics laboratory is situated directly alongside the site, the 19th Century Grade II listed Ivy Gate sits in front of the proposed Mathematics building and the Grade I listed Royal Fort House is directly adjacent, described by Pevsner as Bristol’s ‘finest Georgian villa’

Senior Partner at Sheppard Robson Andrew Bowles elaborates on the design concept and success of the planning approval:

“Our design for these buildings responds to the University of Bristol’s vision of creating world class teaching and research facilities and provides state of the art accommodation to attract students and academics from across the world. Securing planning permission for Bristol University gave us a great sense of achievement. The project is a delicate balancing act; creating a proposal sensitive to its surroundings while still providing the University with a design solution that aims to inspire the future generations of students that will pass through its doors ”

Construction is due to begin in March 2010, with completion due in March 2012

Bristol University Building image / information from Sheppard Robson

Sheppard Robson


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