University of Glasgow
Institute of Health and Wellbeing
The new build Institute of Health and Wellbeing will bring together a range of research-focused academics whilst purposefully engaging with the public and encouraging collaborative working. The Institute undertakes world-class research and so the choice of Atkins, with its unique Human-Centred Design service delivering environmentally sustainable and wellbeing focused design, was a natural fit for the University.
The design of academic workplace is currently in flux, with increasing demands on space utilisation challenging the inherent need for privacy. One size or approach does not fit all circumstances and design teams need to work hard to understand the specific requirements for each cohort of building users. Using a Human-Centred Design service allows our design teams to better understand these working environments and translate them into a series of spatial attributes or components that will effectively support the required activity, whether that is meeting with colleagues and students or individual reflection and writing.
The Human-Centred Design survey undertaken in 2016 provided valuable insight into the needs and preferences of building users which were then translated into the environmental design brief. This identified a range of ambitions of the building users, some that supported previous assumptions and those that presented a new understanding of the requirements and aspirations of the spectrum of building users.
1 . A willingness to move to adjust location within a building according to most appropriate sound level.
2 . A greater desire for control over temperature than air quality or lighting level.
3 . To have an environment that fosters collaboration and acts as a catalyst to innovative ideas through chance meetings with colleagues.
4 . To provide an environment that supports acoustic and visual privacy for focused academic work often of a sensitive nature.
“Atkins demonstrated to us that they are leaders in design for wellbeing.”
~ Ann Allen – Director Of Estates, University of Glasgow
Our Human-Centred Design process is now enabling these aspects to be considered holistically, with an informed debate on the spatial attributes that support a range of different activities. This also offers the opportunity to discuss in more detail the nature of open and cellular spaces and the requirement for private working versus more collaborative approaches.
The perceived success of our Human-Centred Design process, in terms of level of engagement with staff, has led to subsequent commissions on other projects for the University.
As of April 2017, we’re embarking upon RIBA Stage 2 and we’ll update this case study as the project progresses.