1.Road Structure

This image illustrates the initial study that took place to understand the effect of submerging the road. The Highways Agency design guide sets out strict limitations on the configuration of the road, such as minimum clearance distances and maximum gradients. The above image shows the profile of the roof of a cut and cover tunnel which would allow at grade access across the road between the two parts of the campus.
2. Contoured Surface

After the profile of the tunnel roof was calculated it was used to generate a contoured surface to encompass the open spaces around the road. This surface would the be populated by towers to accommodate the incubator space. However, this strategy would present a number of problems, not least from the point of view of structure. High loadings would occur at the base of the towers which would have to be transferred by the surface, greatly increasing itís depth.
3. Mat Plan

If the structure of the surface had to be of a significant depth, it made sense to investigate the possibility of putting the accommodation within that depth. The above plan illustrates how the various generic spaces required for the incubator can be confederated into a contoured floor plate. The public space could then be placed on the roof of this surface.
4. Dish Building

The image above relates to the plan, left. Although in some ways this solution is the most logical iteration of road geometry, it presents a number of problems. The primary problem is the curved floor plates which would contravene building regulations which prohibit elongated ramped surfaces. The structural implications of this layout are also prohibitive - achieving a curved structural roof and floor plate would be highly problematic.
5. Road Accommodation

After the dish model was sidelined, a number of studies took place to provide a more rational format for the incubator accommodation. It was at this point that the decision was made to submerge the building to allow a new surface to link the existing buildings of the campus to the north of the road. This surface covers two levels of accommodation: the incubator offices and parking. The minimum excavation is carried out to provide a bridge over the road.
6. Surface Articulation

A section of the surface is thus able to cross the road at grade and link to the south side of the campus. This bridge then becomes and important visual event on the road and investigations took place to find a suitable was to articulate the bridge in an appropriate contextual manner, whilst addressing the image component of the brief. Development then took place to articulate the surface and courtyards were introduced with large scale vents to the parking level.