Technology Hub, Ormskirk

Client: Edge Hill University

Value: £7.3m

This fast track scheme created new and refurbished teaching spaces over three storeys incorporating specialist laboratories for computing and science courses. Located in a conservation area within the campus overlooking an avenue of lime trees, the Technology Hub is a low-carbon building allowing users to step into a virtual space.

Offering high quality space for learning, the Technology Hub is a key resource for over 600 students including:

  • CAVE (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment) the UK’s first super immersive 3D virtual environment
  • innovative biotechnology laboratories
  • Harvard style lecture theatre
  • giant 3D interactive teaching screens
  • knowledge exchange
  • food science facility
  • enterprise hatchery for new business ideas.

The four-screen CAVE offers students and businesses the chance to fully immerse themselves in a virtual room and experience real life scenarios. Replicating reality, such as emergency situations, complex surgery and laboratory experiments in 4k resolution, the facility also supports the expansion in Digital Creative and Food Science including bioinformatics, product design and prototyping.

Housing specialist laboratories and big data servers for research, the building also features a programmable child-sized robot. A ‘tech sandpit’ brings together students and business to discuss challenges and ideas which are developed using expertise from across computer science and biotechnology.

The original Levens Building, located behind the Technology Hub, was retained and refurbished internally with a glazed link connecting it to the new facility comprising a steep inclined roof to the eastern elevation. Demolition of an existing single storey rear section of the former Maricopa Advanced Technology Education Centre formed the final phase of the works.

Edge Hill has over 16,000 students who enjoy modern facilities and accommodation including undergraduates, post graduates and local businesses with a particular commitment to widen participation into higher education and graduate careers.