The Surface, which forms the roof the incubator space, becomes the new heart of the campus. Each of three existing University buildings facing onto this new square currently have entrances approximately 1200mm above grade, creating problems for disabled access. This entry level is therefore taken as the datum for the new square allowing direct access into each of the buildings whilst also providing room for high-level windows to the office space below.
The square is animated by trees growing up through the courtyards of the buildings below and also by small skylights which form glass topped picnic tables. As the road is now routed below ground level direct access is also available to the campus buildings to the south. The extension of the surface to the east of the site also opens up views and pedestrian access to the river.
This surface is seen as a multifunctional space for use by both students and workers in the building below, as well as member of the public who have direct access from the pavement. The surface therefore represents the Universities desire to encompass academia, commerce, and the local community.