Meet the finalists

Higher Education
All Finalists2019 Winners

Glyn Jones MCIOB

Willmott Dixon

Glyn coupled a drive for excellence with a relentless focus on the client’s needs and wishes with this student services building. He cleverly managed the programme consequences of undertaking a major redesign of a technically demanding project during the construction phase. He solved the major installation and buildability problems posed by the main elevation’s unique vertical glass fins. His construction expertise and the trust he built up closed out risk while delighting the client.

About the Project

Student Life Building, Middlesbrough

Client: Teesside University

Contract: NEC option A

Value: £11m

The programme consequences of a thoroughgoing redesign of a technically demanding statement building during the construction phase can easily sour team relationships. Yet Glyn Jones thrilled the client and architect with his sensitive management of this three-storey student-services block. He drew on his construction expertise and the trust built up on his preceding project on the site to progress the design revision without wrecking the construction timetable.

Midway through the initial design, an opportunity had arisen to increase the size of the building and introduce additional services. Naturally, the client seized it. With only 70% of the internal layout design decisions still standing as the steel frame went up, Glyn worked tirelessly to show physically on site, and virtually on hand-held tablets, how the new spaces would feel, and to lock down the other 30% as soon as possible.

The technical complexity brought further problems to solve. Glyn had to have a forklift truck specially adapted to install the 3.5m-high glass panes that make up 75% of the facade. The main elevation’s massively expensive vertical glass fins – each 12 metres high with a colourful interlayer that casts a rainbow of colours inside and outside the building – was another taxing exercise in buildability and installation. Even manufacturing the fins was a strain, with some delivered to site six weeks late to satisfy the stringent quality checks, forcing Glyn to reprogramme again to maintain the handover date.