The Rolle Building, University of Plymouth

The Rolle Building is an academic building which forms part of a mixed use development known as The James Square Development, also comprising a residential building and a refectory arranged to define a new public urban square. This is a technologically advanced, multipurpose education environment designed to provide the highest standard of learning facilities and accommodation for both university students and professionals returning to education for CPD. The central space is designed as a ‘learning atrium’ with opportunities for flexible visual displays or exhibitions designed to encourage communication and interaction between staff and students of the arts, sciences and humanities. The success of the environmental strategy relies upon external shading to the east and west façades. An innovative solution to deal with the low sun angles was developed with fixed perforated aluminium curved shades designed to a geometry which responds to the movement of the sun during the critical periods of occupancy. The resultant sail like shape reinforces a symbolic connection with Plymouth’s maritime heritage.