Dennis Sciama Building, University of Portsmouth

van Heyningen and Haward Architects, Portsmouth, 2008


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External View 

James Gallie     Download Original

  • External View    
  • Building in context of tight urban site    
  • Interior of canteen    
  • Exterior view of white render and glass curtain walling    
  • Building illuminated at night    
  • View from balcony of forth floor    
  • Internal view of ground floor entrance    
  • Internal view of catering space    
  • External view of brickwork    
  • Interval view of stairwell    
  • Internal detail of stair    
  • Internal detail of corridor    
  • Site Plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Second floor plan     
  • Third floor plan    
  • Fourth floor plan    
  • Section A-A    
  • Section B-B    
  • North elevation    
  • South elevation    
  • East elevation    
  • West elevation    

Teaching and resource building for University of Portsmouth in a tight urban setting

The Dennis Sciama Building provides a new social hub for Portsmouth University's north campus - the ground floor houses all catering for students and staff.

On the top floor, with a terrace and views to the south, is the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, with two general teaching floors below. The design is a calm and carefully proportioned response to the listed 19th century cottages to the south and the large-scale modern University buildings to the north and west.

From a sustainability point of view, the building is ambitious, and provides light and airy naturally ventilated spaces, using central voids to pull air through the building and expel it at high level.


  • Begun: Aug 2007
  • Completed: Dec 2008
  • Floor area: 3,500m2
  • Sector: Education
  • Total cost: £5.9M
  • Procurement: JCT/Design and Build
  • Address: University of Portsmouth, Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, Mercantile House, Hampshire Terrace, Portsmouth, PO1 2EG, United Kingdom

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