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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

5G Innovation Centre at University of Surrey by Scott Tallon Walker Architects

 
May 5th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Scott Tallon Walker Architects

Scott Tallon Walker architects have won the competition to create the UK’s first Innovation Centre focused on 5G networking based at the University of Surrey. This is possibly the first such facility in the world and will house the UK’s largest academic research centre for mobile communications with 130 researchers and around 90 PhD students. The project has been given an urgent status and is being undertaken immediately. It’s expected that it will be completed well before the end of next year.

Image courtesy Scott Tallon Walker Architects 

Image courtesy Scott Tallon Walker Architects

The competition to design the new Communication Innovation Institute (CII) drew strong international competition when the University of Surrey received funding of £35 million last year to develop and fund the project. The funds came from a variety of sources including the UK government and corporate sponsors including Huawei, Samsung and Telefonica. 5G is the fifth generation of mobile cellular systems. 3G which is currently in use in the UK as the country transitions to 4G focuses, on speed. 5G’s focus is on network capacity, providing more capacity with lower power consumption. It’s estimated that 5G will be in use in about eight years’ time.

Scott Tallon Walker’s concept for the new building creates a flexible space with a circular atrium that acts as a central lung and focus, to ensure maximum interaction amongst researchers. This ability to have both staff and students interact easily is a key element in the success of the design. When built the scheme will achieve BREEAM ‘Excellent’ environmental rating using mixed mode, naturally ventilated, simple yet sophisticated energy concept for its ventilation. The materials used in the building are a pallet of low energy and maintenance elements including terracotta rain screen, aluminium, glass and steel, sympathetic to the adjoining buildings on all sides.

Peter Dudley, Scott Tallon Walker’s Director of Science and Technology, commented, “Our concept for this building was informed very much by how our own architects work. We see the new centre at the University of Surrey as a place where some of the finest minds in mobile communications from around the world will be sharing their visionary ideas. Our team has watched and studied how creative groups share ideas in the workplace and our design will mean that people will have a strong sense of contact, visual and/or aural, with colleagues during the working day. This leads to better collegiality but more importantly to the sparking of creative ideas, spurring people on with fresh suggestions while seeing the progress being made by colleagues. The Scott Tallon Walker practice is obviously delighted to have won such a prestigious competition but my colleagues working on the project are equally excited as they really want to see their ideas for this creative community in action.”

The research centre will accommodate both the university’s own researchers and those of its industry partners who will come and research at the university. Part of the overall proposal includes a test bed on campus, with a number of base stations and mobile terminals that cover an area of four kilometers squared which will be used for demonstrations and proofs-of-concept.
The university’s Vice Chancellor Professor Sir Christopher Snowden, in announcing the scheme stated that, “The new 5G Centre will enable the UK to lead this rapidly expanding segment of the global digital economy.

Locally, it will bring yet more momentum to the clusters of established and new high tech businesses on our Surrey Research Park. Finally, and very significantly for us, it consolidates the leading position of our own Centre for Communication Systems Research in Europe and paves the way for the further development of our long-term strategic partnerships with major global telecommunications organisations and significant inward investment into both Surrey and the UK.”

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Category: Research & Development Centre

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