The Lyell Centre is a joint project between Heriot-Watt University and The British Geological Survey (BGS) and establishes a new shared research and office facility on the University’s Riccarton Campus. The building includes the relocation of the BGS’s Scottish HQ and comprises a relatively complex mix of specialist lab spaces, an aquarium, shared social spaces, in addition to office accommodation for both BGS and Heriot-Watt.
The 3 storey building comprises two distinctive wings of open plan workspace accommodation for BGS and a mixture of labs, break out space and workspace for HWU. At the centre where the two wings meet, a curving shared entrance core is located with the aim of bringing the two organisations together.
The external skin is a wrap of brickwork bringing the two wings together at the core. At this central point, the entrance is defined by a full height glazed slot and set back canopy which takes the form of a ‘geological fissure’ cut through the solid masonry mass.