Scott Tallon Walker

Queen's University Belfast - School of Biological Sciences



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Queen's University Belfast
11100 sq.m

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Scott Tallon Walker Architects in conjunction with White Ink Architects were appointed in 2012 to a new project at Queen’s University Belfast following a competitive tender process.

In response to a forecast increase in student numbers and continued growth in biomedical and food research activity, Queen’s University has prioritised the new School of Biological Sciences as a key project to deliver the University’s strategic vision. The client brief sought a dynamic and stimulating teaching and research environment to meet current and future needs and to cement their reputation for excellence as a member of the elite Russell Group of universities. 

The complicated site within the Malone Conservation Area spans the distinct character areas of three different streets, with a total level drop across the site of almost 8 metres.

The resulting design responds to its challenging setting. The potential of the sloping site has been maximised to deliver a total floor area of 11,100sqm while respecting the distinctive scale and grain of all three streets. A glazed atrium allows daylight to penetrate to all levels of the building.  

The successful grant of planning approval for this project, determined as a ‘Large Scale Investment Project,’ was achieved following extensive prior consultation with the DOE Planning Service and local community groups.

This complex building involved the resolution of the different security and servicing requirements for a variety of laboratories, specialist equipment areas and multi-user write up spaces. Open plan Category II laboratories are designed to provide maximum future flexibility, while limited Category III laboratories accommodate specialist research by the Institute for Global Food Security.