EE Edu – OU Business School, Milton Keynes, UK

Open University Business School Offices
University Architecture Design and Commercial Offices

University architecture in mind of a flexible built environment for real-world offices.

SpaceShapers architects embarked on a university architecture design project. In the designing of the Open University Business School offices in Milton Keynes that followed the client’s request for a flexible set of office wings for each department. The varying briefs of each department requested everything from a fully open plan to all variations towards fully cellular office space. The team looked at a set of rectangular wings that could be flexible enough to provide changeable requirements for the division of office studio spaces.

A featured building by the Royal Institute of Architects.

The central spine mass connecting the four office wings housing each set of departments, provided ancillary support spaces: printing, IT, meeting space, bathrooms, and kitchenettes. Central to the connecting spine building design the glazed reception area which forms a 3 storey space with a hanging feature conference facility over.

University architectural design and technology pushed to its limits.

The main structure of the wings comprises a TermoDeck system. TheTermoDeck system is different from conventional technologies because it is integrated within the structure of a building. The last part of the supply air ductwork system consists of hollow core concrete slabs instead of traditional steel ducts. The supply of air passes through the hollow cores of the slab before entering the room.

TermoDeck uses the thermal storage capacity of the building´s structural mass to regulate the internal temperatures. The effectiveness of the building’s thermal mass is enhanced by passing supply air through the slab before it enters the room. The slabs work as efficient heat exchangers between the supply air and the room.
Therefore, the supply air doesn’t differ by more than 3-4ºC from the room temperature resulting in no draughts.

Most part of the cooling and heating is radiation from the ceiling and floor surfaces of the slabs. This leads to high indoor thermal comfort.

The floor/ceiling slabs serve many purposes:
– Its the structural floor
– Conveys fresh air into the building
– Serves as an energy store.
– The slabs act as an efficient silencer to limit noise from the system.

The result is an architectural design that problem solves a brief for a flexible built environment that can adapt as the client requires. Computer-aided design has allowed building design to take advantage of the latest energy-saving architectural technology. The result is a construction industry gem.

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Private Client
August 2015
Milton Keynes, UK
© SpaceShapersArchitects 2018