"The stainless steel sphereis symbolic of the world"
The Knowledge sculptureon Mile End Campus wasnamed ArchitecturalSculpture of the Year atthe Building of the YearAwards in June 2004.Created by renowned sculptress, WendyTaylor, CBE, Knowledge stands eightmetres high and is made entirely ofstainless steel. The reflective, stainlesssteel sphere is symbolic of the world, andis supported by ‘arms’ which reflect thegiving and receiving of knowledge. TheBuilding of the Year Awards are jointlysponsored by BSkyB and the Royal Fine Art Commission.
Stunning Medical School building nears completion
Construction of the new £44 million School of Medicineand Dentistry building, designed by Will Alsop, tookplace during 2003-04.
The building’s foundation stone was laidby Professor Colin Blakemore FRS, ChiefExecutive of the Medical ResearchCouncil, at a ceremony in November2003. By then, Laing O’Rourke’sconstruction teams had put in place the building’s huge steelwork superstructure,and dug out the space below ground to create the building’s subterranean researchand laboratory space. Four large ‘pods’ were then installed atceiling level, reached via walkways from the ground floor level. One pod will house the Centre of the Cell, a bioscience education centre for schoolchildren. The others will be used as meeting rooms anda reception area. “The stainless steel sphere is symbolic of the world”
“Glass panels in the wallsdesigned by the artist Bruce McLean reflect medicalthemes”
An impressive helical staircase was createdat the centre of the building, linking theground floor to the subterranean one. Following completion of the steelwork superstructure, gigantic glass panels were hoisted into place to form the building’s walls. These include nine specially-commissioned coloured glass panels by the artist Bruce McLean which are based on medical themes including architectural genes, proteins, sugars and lipids.The building will house 400 scientists, postgraduate students and support staff, mainly from the Medical School’s Institute of Cell and Molecular Science. Accommodation is divided into the laboratory space at subterranean level, open plan office space on the ground floor, plus the pods suspended in the middle of the building. The laboratory at lower ground level comprises 2,015 metres of open plan space, and 40 secondary laboratories and support rooms. Located around the perimeter of the open plan area will be tissue culture facilities, Category Two and Three containment laboratories, imaging and microscopy suites, and heavy equipment areas. Research staff will be allocated both laboratory space and office or open plan space to write up their work. This building, known as the ‘Pavilion’, will be linked via a walkway to a second new building, ‘Plant Wall’. Plant Wall includes the main reception area for visitors, plus a new 400-seater lecture theatre and break-out space. A light and airy café, surrounded by glass on three walls, has also been installed as a useful area for scientists to interact and share ideas.Both the Pavilion and Plant Wall are set to be completed in early spring 2005 and staff will move in during April and May 2005.