Hypostyle Architects Glasgow Edinburgh

Advanced Forming Research Centre

The Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) is a public/private sector partnership designed to drive technological improvements and profitability within the aerospace, marine and automotive industries.

Located in Inchinnan, and forming part of the university’s extended campus, the AFRC is a beacon for engineering and manufacturing excellence, housed in high quality, purpose built facilities and designed to meet the Client’s aspirations for an iconic building that reflects the status of a world class research centre that supports research for global industrial manufacturing companies such as Rolls Royce, Boeing & Airbus.

The building occupies a former brownfield site that previously formed part of the India Tyre Factory. Adjacent to the building sits the main art deco listed building, originally commissioned by India Tyres. Other neighbours include Rolls Royce Factory to the east and residential properties to the west. The site is also in close proximity to Glasgow Airport and subject to the Civil Aviation Authorities statutory controls. Within this context the development provides a landmark building with an individual personality but sitting comfortably within the landscape and neighbouring properties.

The building form consists of a collection of grouped volumes that reflect the three main activities that the building accommodates, namely, laboratories, offices & workshops. The volumes are visually collected under large mono-pitch roofs.  The offices are situated at the front with a monopitch roof rising up giving space for services distribution.  The research laboratories are just behind with a flat roof to house building services, screened from view but readily accessible for maintenance and replacement.  At the rear the large workshops rise again with a monopitch roof housing the large pieces of specialist equipment.

This arrangement also ensures that the building, when viewed from the popular approach, is human in scale but rises in waves to the back, hinting at what it contained.  The main entrance and spine are articulated separately and allow views to penetrate through each different facility.

Internally the main accommodation groups are located within designated zones that provide the opportunity for simple and manageable future expansion. A central circulation and balance area, known as ‘The Street’ provides a spacious and flexible central hub for the building. The focus in all these areas is research and the floor plan is therefore organised to encourage collaborative and open working between these spaces.

The Client set high standards for sustainability. Improved building fabric performance and passive environmental systems where the principle means of reducing the building’s carbon footprint. However, low running and maintenance costs along with providing a building that promotes the health and wellbeing of its occupants and contributes positively to the local environment are all features that make this building a very successful and sustainable development.

“The AFRC is a dedicated high quality purpose built facility that reflects the state of the art in forming and forging.......” Client / User

“A world class research facility supporting fundamental and applied research in forming and forging..........” End User

Project Value: £6.1million plus £6 million fit-out

Client: University of Strathclyde

Contract: NEC 3 Design & Build ‘Novated Services’

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