This new atrium roof was part of a project to refurbish the campus buildings at Bradford University and forms an impressive new café/entrance area for the students. The lightweight EFTE arches span 40m from ground level, rising four storeys to rest on the roof of the link block. The construction of the adjacent buildings meant that the atrium steel work essentially needed to work independently. The tubular trusses support the ETFE cushions, which form the roof enclosure.

DDA in conjunction with Vector Foiltec have carried out structural design and detailing for the scheme. We have produced a workable solution in response to the architect’s design intent and in line with the client’s budgetary requirements. The relative height differences and irregular geometry of the surrounding buildings required intricate detailing to accommodate all of the varying perimeter interfaces.

The site’s elevated position within the city, alongside the potentially dominating effect of the adjacent Richmond Building meant that it was necessary to commission an independent wind study. RWDI Anemos were commissioned to carry out both an initial assessment in the form of a desk study, followed by a full wind tunnel test on a scaled model.