Engineering East Breakout Space
Swansea University Bay Campus
The Breakout Space is a prefabricated timber building constructed within the covered atrium space of Engineering East on the new Bay Campus for Swansea University.
To address a lack of flexible and informal student space for study and socialising, the large covered atriums of the recently constructed buildings present a great opportunity for additional accommodation. A feasibility study considered everything from marquee type temporary buildings to train shaped permanent buildings. Davies Sutton Architects were approached at the beginning of the summer 2017 to consider the delivery of a prefabricated insulated timber Ty Unnos building. The proposal had to be quick to be build during the Christmas shut down, brought in as small components through restricted width doors and have the potential to be dismantled and moved.
The building makes use of the Welsh timber Ty Unnos construction system and combines a post and beam timber frame with insulated prefabricated infill panels.
In order to reduceconstruction time on site, the prefabricated components were fully fabricated offsite and designed to provide the interior finish, with panels finished in birch plywood and the softwood post and beam frame exposed. The building, although permanent in quality, is fully reversible. With no additional footings and a suspended timber floor, the building can be dismantled and relocated, and the street returned to its original appearance with minimal repair. A long elevation of glazing maximises the natural lighting of the breakout space whilst an over-cladding with Welsh timber louvres gives a sense of privacy to both the inhabitants of the building and those within the immediately adjacent laboratory and office spaces.