Queen’s Building – University of Bristol Engineering & The New Wing
Located between University Walk and Cantocks close, Queen’s Building is a large, four-storey, 1950’s building that falls within the Tyndalls Park Conservation Area. The north-west section of the building is under proposal for extension. The new wing features a large, flexible teaching space for approximately 200 students, with additional uses for open-day activities, exams, summer school and conference/industry events. It also includes an undergraduate laboratory space with demonstration areas, meeting rooms, small working group spaces and research offices. Externally it provides a new entrance to the building and improved links to other University buildings, particularly to the Engineering Faculty.
We were requested to design a café for students and staff to use whilst studying and visiting the campus, with facilities suitable to provide hot and cold beverages and light meals and snacks; from sandwiches and crisps to porridge and cake. Throughout the design process, we constantly reviewed and discussed the drawings to ensure the correct equipment and layout would be supplied to accommodate the brief and the services they wished to deliver.
The Journey & The Selection
We have a long-standing relationship with the University of Bristol, having completed previous works with them; including Hiatt Baker Hall, Churchill Hall and The Hawthorns. Other, smaller, installations have also been carried out at other halls of residence and student bars, including service contracts, so we were pleased the University of Bristol requested to work with us again.
The Challenges & Solving Them
The main challenge to consider for this project was working on a populated campus, as students and staff would still be present during construction, and how we’d maneuver ourselves within the site whilst maintaining health and safety regulations. We were working to a tight schedule, as the café was due to open at the start of the next semester, so there was very little room for error or delays in logistics and installation.
The Solution & The Service
To accommodate the volume of people that would be using the campus during construction, the works had been planned to commence and complete between semesters whilst the main bulk of students and staff would be away. This meant the number of university personnel on site were significantly lower during implementation. We liaised with the main contractor and other sub-contractors to confirm the site was ready for the installation of the commercial catering equipment, again to make sure there were no delays or crossovers of schedule between different sectors or works. Our engineers remained vigilant of their surroundings when moving equipment and supplies to site, to ensure the safety of any university members still present during the holiday period.
The Results & The Client
We managed to complete the project to budget and within the deadline, so the café was ready for use when the students returned for the new semester. The staff and students have now been provided with a new café, giving convenience to those wishing to stay on-campus but still have access to food and drink to fuel themselves during study periods and between lectures. The café also provides a communal and study space, that can be reserved for group studying, available for all students and faculty members – you can never go wrong when studying with snacks!