Design and Construction
Learn more about the creation of SEE Building.
Creating a new campus icon
Designed by Sheppard Robson and delivered by Morgan Sindall Construction, the 15,300 sqm, four-storey design introduces specialist laboratories, design studios and collaborative spaces to our Peel Park campus.
From its inception in 2017, the building project successfully navigated the COVID-19 pandemic, to open on schedule in September 2022.
Read on to learn more about the design concept and construction journey.
SEE Building emerged in 2017, when earlier plans to add an extension to Newton Building were shelved in favour of ambitions to create an innovative space for the newly-formed School of Science, Engineering and Environment.
Following a series of design iterations, including the addition of a fourth floor, final designs were approved in 2019. Despite a brief delay following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, construction site work began in July 2020.
As the pandemic continued, so did construction. In March 2021, we celebrated the topping-out ceremony. Progress continued apace, and by early 2022, completion was on the horizon. SEE Building was officially handed over in Summer 2022. It welcomed its inaugural cohort of new students on Monday 12 September 2022.
Engineering DNA. Reimagined
The SEE Building design brief sought to pay homage to our proud roots as a technical skills provider for the first Industrial Revolution. But how do you do 1896 in 2022?
Project architects Sheppard Robson drew inspiration from our industrial heritage and landscape to create a building with an external character that offers a modern take on surrounding Victorian warehouses.
The design incorporates two principal concepts:
- Flexibility and sustainability
- Expression of the building’s function
Outside, the striking design adds new visual language to Chapman Square at the heart of our Peel Park campus. Inside, the building's interior architecture follows an ‘exposed services’ strategy to convey our engineering DNA.
A skeleton steel frame is picked out in vibrant yellow. Ceilings reveal exposed building services. Atriums and walkways host collaborative 'hives'. Feature staircases connect an industrious hub.
Acknowledging Industry 1.0, we're ready for Industry 4.0.
“It’s been thrilling to see this building take shape. Our design houses an extraordinary range of spaces for invention, weaving together specialist facilities alongside areas for agile working. The building has been designed to express the School’s industrious and explorative spirit, with the flexible, all-electric building delivering on the sustainability targets that underpinned the design from the start.”
Alex Solk, partner at Sheppard Robson
Home to world-class Energy House laboratories, we knew we had to lead by example with our new SEE Building.
Through our all-electric energy strategy, we've shaped a building that is 100% electric powered - a rarity in higher education. Power is supplied by a reliable source of renewable energy provided by 154 Photovoltaic (PV) panels installed on the roof.
Sustainable design elements include opening windows and the use a stack effect in the atriums to support ventilation. By maximising natural light, we can reduce artificial lighting demand too. SEE Building is targeting BREEAM Excellent rating.
“The building itself will unlock potential for future generations, while the construction of it has simultaneously allowed for real economic benefits in the surrounding area. Our close relationship with the University has enabled local students to visit our sites and absorb knowledge from our team.”
Shaun Jones, Greater Manchester area director for Morgan Sindall Construction
Meet Charlotte - Estates Project Manager
The SEE Building marks a milestone career achievement for project manager Charlotte France.
A Salford building surveying alumna, Charlotte oversaw the construction process, from inception and build to completion and occupation.
An integral part of our Estates team, Charlotte is now helping to deliver more of our ambitious campus masterplan.
Read more: Charlotte's construction journey