Mountjoy Building Durham University
GSSArchitecture were appointed to create a high quality headquarters for Durham University’s central administration. The project involved the innovative re-use of an existing building, first built in 1985, consisting of two storeys over six levels, and at the time was almost entirely unused by the University. The approach to this project was to remove all existing small cellular spaces to create light, fresh and flexible open-plan offices. These were then enhanced by introducing meeting pods to provide discreet, yet flexible spaces in addition to ‘traditional’ meeting rooms.
There were many challenges working with this existing building, including creating the new main entrance and focal point for the building, control of acoustics in open areas, achieved through curved, perforated ceilings, as well as improving services, energy efficiency and introducing sustainability features. The most challenging element was the complex retrofit installation of the Planar glazed, three sided lift over six floors.