Atkins-designed Met Office development granted planning

An Atkins-designed Met Office development has been granted planning permission.

Located at Exeter Science Park, the site features a large IT Hall, which will house a major part of the Met Office’s new £97m supercomputer, and a striking two-storey ‘collaboration’ building which will allow world class research into weather data and climate change.

The design for the collaboration building reflects the patterns on computer circuit boards, with a hexagon outline and non-vertical elevation. Both buildings are designed to be BREEAM Excellent, which is fully in line with the vision set out by Exeter Science Park.

James Harrison, an associate director at Atkins, said: “This site will not only be home to one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world but it will also act as a focal point for Exeter Science Park.

“We wanted to create an instantly recognisable building which articulates the importance of the project and the pioneering work being undertaken by the Met Office.”

Atkins and Faithful + Gould are providing design through to RIBA stage 3 including architecture, civil & structural engineering and mechanical & electrical engineering design.

Lynda Jones, Head of Property Management at the Met Office, said: “Atkins has delivered an innovative and sustainable design for the IT hall and collaboration building which will help give us the capability to strengthen our collaborations with partners in the South West, UK and around the world.”

The first phase of the supercomputer will be operational in September 2015 and the system will reach full capacity in 2017.

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