The University of Hertfordshire is busy revamping its College Lane Campus in Hatfield.
The 2020 Estates Vision is the most radical intervention on the campus since it opened nearly 60 years ago, an ambitious development programme which will allow the University to tackle the challenges of the next ten years.
Pexhurst is one of the University’s framework contractors and has a long track record of successful project delivery for the growing education provider. The latest development has seen the £400k refurbishment of the ground floor of the Mercer Building, where the University’s Estates, Hospitality and Contract Services department will be taking over accommodation previously occupied by the Student Centre.
The Mercer Building is a typical, 1980s, steelframed, curtain-walled office development, with an eye-catching yellow exterior. The refit called for an equally-funky interior, where the brief was to do away with the conventional office layout and come up with something more inspirational. Pexhurst has certainly achieved that, with an open-plan layout interspersed with glass meeting pods, exposed services, a creative lighting solution and continuation of the exterior yellow into the office areas.
In what was a tight 12-week programme, one of the most challenging parts of the project was the m&e services. With the decision taken to increase the height of the office floorspace by removing the false ceilings, Pexhurst needed to rationalise the building services previously hidden from view. With the discarded
ceilings revealing a mass of cables, trays,ductwork and associated services where amendments had been made over the years, everything had to be tracked and minimised. The existing building services have been retained where possible. The new streamlined look is complemented by a funky array of linear
light fittings spreading out in all directions, a far cry from the flat ceilings too often found in office interiors. The glass meeting rooms complete the modern look.
Pexhurst has also revamped the exiting WC facilities and added a shower facility for cyclists.There is also room for flexible teaching space and studios to be used by photography students. Blackout curtain blinds can be lowered to allow the space to be used as studios, which can then be raised when not in use to enable the space to be used by others.
A high-class fit-out has created a fabulously funky new home for the University of Hertfordshire. Full marks to Pexhurst.
Mercer Building, College Lane Campus, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield AL10 9AB