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Barnshaws Curved Profiles: The Secret Ingredient behind the sleek beauty of Edge Hill University’s latest life sciences building

Barnshaws Curved Profiles: The Secret Ingredient behind the sleek beauty of Edge Hill University's latest life sciences building

Established in 1885 teacher training college exclusively for women, Edge Hill College has evolved into a distinguished university. With a rich history spanning over a century, the institution is currently undergoing a transformative phase marked by substantial developments. One such milestone is the construction of the Life Sciences Building. 

Designed by ABW Architects, the three-story Life Sciences Building is a modern facility poised to revolutionize the university's capabilities in teaching and biomedical research. Comprising teaching and research labs, seminar/meeting rooms, plant rooms, and office spaces, the steel-framed structure is being fabricated and erected by EvadX.  

The architectural splendour of the building is emphasized by the curved façade formed of 21 curved profiles, which not only adds aesthetic appeal but also serves a functional purpose. The facade skilfully rises to 2.5 meters, providing a sheltered walkway on the ground floor. This impressive cantilever is made possible by a series of solid transfer beams strategically placed at first-floor level. These beams, which can withstand a weight of up to 3 tons, are the most solid steel profiles in the entire project. To extend the innovation to the upper levels, additional transfer beams were used on the second floor. 

The task of bringing the curved facade to life was entrusted to Barnshaws Group, a company well-suited for the job due to their extensive expertise in similar projects. Various profile types, including RHS, SHS, and Beams (along Y-Y axis), were employed in the fabrication of this. 

Barnshaws engineers used a special method to stop steel profiles from getting bent out of shape. Greg North, Group Commercial Director at Barnshaws, explained: “Our team did a great job creating and delivering unique profiles that exactly met the design plans. Despite the challenges faced during the project, all curved profiles were delivered to EvadX on time and within the allocated budget”

Plans for the future development of the university include the revitalization of public realm spaces, creating opportunities for outdoor events such as cinema screenings and food markets. While construction on this phase is yet to commence, structural steelwork is expected to play a pivotal role, consistent with its role in the ongoing master plan.

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