Engineering and railways innovation centre lodged for planning

Associated Architects has revealed proposals for a 12,600sq m engineering and rail-research centre designed for the University of Birmingham.

The building – lodged for planning with Birmingham council – would be built on the south-western part of the university’s Edgbaston campus.

Associated, which is based in the city, said the new facilities would be split 80:20 between the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education and a digital systems innovation centre for the UK Rail Research & Innovation Network.

The practice said it was targeting a Breeam “excellent” rating for the building, which will offer a variety of contemporary and flexible design and research spaces intended to act as an incubator for innovation and strengthen teaching and research partnerships.

Associated Architects' latest University of Birmingham proposals

Associated Architects’ proposals for a new School of Engineering building for the University of Birmingham that will focus on rail innovation

It said materials for the scheme had been chosen to integrate the proposed building with the surrounding urban realm, with many of the specified materials referencing recent developments from around the university campus.

Associated also designed the University of Birmingham’s nearby new library, which completed in 2016.

New University of Birmingham Library

Associated Architects’ new library at the University of Birmingham, which completed in 2016