The University of Southampton

Mountbatten Building wins top architecture award

Published: 21 May 2009

The Mountbatten Building has received a prestigious award from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

RIBA awards are made annually and are highly prized in the design and construction industry. The awards are given for buildings that have high architectural standards and make a substantial contribution to the local environment. The RIBA judges praised the Mountbatten Building's 'simple, dynamic forms', adding that the design allowed it to 'embody 21st century scientific research in a sustainable, academic setting.' The Building is also energy efficient, designed to consume 65 per cent less energy than similar complexes. The Mountbatten Building will now be short-listed for the RIBA Stirling Prize honouring the best new buildings in the country.

The Mountbatten Building houses the Southampton Nanofabrication Centre and research groups in the School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS), and the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), providing one of Europe's leading multidisciplinary and state-of-the-art clean room complexes. It is a key element in maintaining the University's global reputation for world-leading research in nanotechnology and photonics.

Both inside and outside, with its laboratories, flexible teaching and research space, and impressively spacious atrium, the £55M Mountbatten Building makes a statement. The design is bold and modern, and the building's glass curtain walls - graced by the Peano-Gosper chiral fractal pattern - enable those outside to view the research taking place in the clean rooms. The Building was designed by Jestico + Whiles, the clean room designers and lead consultants were CH2M Hill IDC (UK) Ltd, and the structural engineer was Gifford.

Professor Harvey Rutt, Head of the School of Electronics and Computer Science, comments: 'The stunning design of the building matches our claim to be cutting-edge and state-of-the-art, and is a fitting home for the world-leading research it will facilitate.'

Professor David Payne, Director of the Optoelectronics Research Centre, adds: 'This magnificent clean room building is unique and world-leading in its imaginative vision for the integration of nanoscience, photonics and optical fibre technology.'

Another of the University's landmark buildings, the £18 million building that marks the entrance to the University's Highfield Campus and also houses three ECS research groups, has been short-listed for a Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) award.

For further information, contact Joyce Lewis; tel. +44(0)23 8059 5453.

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