The building is designed to act as a focal point, around which the lake together with the cluster of academic and residential buildings of the new Heslington East campus converge while simultaneously presenting a public face to the outside world by way of a signature building.
At the Central Boulevard, the copper lecture theatre nestles underneath the high point of the roof and acts as a visual beacon terminating this main vista. The conceptual significance of this beacon, containing as is does a state of the art 120 seat raked lecture theatre, exemplifies the importance of teaching and learning ethos to the University.
The lecture theatre is clad in standing seam copper. This treatment is carried through to express the form internally, giving the impression of penetrating the copper ‘pod’ when walking from the main foyer into the lecture theatre.
Copper is also used on the western stair tower to provide a visual marker to the western entrance at the termination of the diagonal pedestrian route through the campus.