Gisbert Kapp

Associated Architects was appointed in 2009 to develop proposals for the refurbishment of a building group comprising Gisbert Kapp, The Link and 52 Pritchatts Road. The project formed part of the wider regeneration plan for the north area of the campus as part of the University of Birmingham’s ‘Smaller Better Campus’ strategy.

Gisbert Kapp and its companion buildings were completed in 1970 to house the School of Electrical Engineering and in more recent times the School of Health. Gisbert Kapp and 52 Pritchatts Road are effectively two self-contained buildings which share the common functions such as the raked lecture theatre contained within The Link, linking the two.

Gisbert Kapp is reclad using linear terracotta rain-screen cladding and high performance windows, retaining the expressive elevational banding of the original design. Terracotta ‘baguettes’ on an articulated metal framework provide a layer of solar shading to the window bands and exposed areas of concrete have been repaired and covered with vertical strip zinc cladding. Zinc is also used to clad the new feature external canopy provided to mark the main entrance.

52 Pritchatts Road, which houses the School of Health, is expressed as a cube with terracotta rain-screen cladding, with punched window openings to reduce solar gain and to provide a solid counterpoint to Gisbert Kapp. The raked lecture theatre and other common functions within The Link are expressed using zinc cladding and coloured glazing.

The key imperative for the project was to increase the performance of the façade, both in terms of energy performance and air infiltration. Through increased insulation, high performance glazing and detailing to achieve high standards of airtightness, the EPC was improved from an F to a B.

Client: University of Birmingham
Project Value: £6.0m
Completed: 2011

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