Alan Turing Building

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Alan Turing Building
Alan Turing Building 2.jpg
Former namesAMPPS
General information
Type Educational
Location Manchester, United Kingdom
Coordinates 53°28′4.8″N2°13′53.1″W / 53.468000°N 2.231417°W / 53.468000; -2.231417 Coordinates: 53°28′4.8″N2°13′53.1″W / 53.468000°N 2.231417°W / 53.468000; -2.231417
Completed2007 [1]
Owner University of Manchester
Technical details
Floor count5
Floor area17,000 m2 [1]
Design and construction
Architect Sheppard Robson [1]
Services engineer Emcor Engineering [2]
Main contractorHBG Construction [3]
Awards and prizes2007 NW Regional Construction Award for Sustainability – Winner, Considerate Constructor – Gold Award. Building & Engineer Awards 2007 – Public Project of the Year – Finalist, Building & Engineer Awards 2007 – Energy Efficient Project of the Year – Finalist, RICS North West Awards 2008 – Sustainability – Finalist [4] , Chartered Institute of Building "Construction Manager of the Year" - Silver.

The Alan Turing Building, named after the mathematician and founder of computer science Alan Turing, is a building at the University of Manchester, in Manchester, England. It houses the School of Mathematics, the Photon Science Institute and the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics (part of the School of Physics and Astronomy). The building is located in the Chorlton-on-Medlock district of Manchester, on Upper Brook Street, and is adjacent to University Place and the Henry Royce Institute. While under construction the project was known as AMPPS : Astronomy, Mathematics, Physics and Photon Science. The building was shortlisted for the Greater Manchester Building of the Year 2008 prize, which is awarded by the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce. [5] The manager of the building project was awarded a silver medal in the Chartered Institute of Building "Construction Manager of the Year" awards. [6]

Mathematician person with an extensive knowledge of mathematics

A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics in his or her work, typically to solve mathematical problems.

Computer science Study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation

Computer science is the study of processes that interact with data and that can be represented as data in the form of programs. It enables the use of algorithms to manipulate, store, and communicate digital information. A computer scientist studies the theory of computation and the practice of designing software systems.

Alan Turing mathematician and computer scientist

Alan Mathison Turing was an English mathematician, computer scientist, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher and theoretical biologist. Turing was highly influential in the development of theoretical computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts of algorithm and computation with the Turing machine, which can be considered a model of a general-purpose computer. Turing is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. Despite these accomplishments, he was never fully recognised in his home country during his lifetime, due to his homosexuality, which was then a crime in the UK.



The £43m building was completed in July 2007, and was designed by architects Sheppard Robson. [1] It consists of three "fingers", each of which are four stories high. The building is of steel frame construction, with reinforced concrete stairwells, [7] and grey zinc exterior cladding. [1]

Architect person trained to plan and design buildings, and oversee their construction

An architect is a person who plans, designs and reviews the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings that have human occupancy or use as their principal purpose. Etymologically, architect derives from the Latin architectus, which derives from the Greek, i.e., chief builder.

Steel frame

Steel frame is a building technique with a "skeleton frame" of vertical steel columns and horizontal I-beams, constructed in a rectangular grid to support the floors, roof and walls of a building which are all attached to the frame. The development of this technique made the construction of the skyscraper possible.

Reinforced concrete composite building material

Reinforced concrete (RC) (also called reinforced cement concrete or RCC) is a composite material in which concrete's relatively low tensile strength and ductility are counteracted by the inclusion of reinforcement having higher tensile strength or ductility. The reinforcement is usually, though not necessarily, steel reinforcing bars (rebar) and is usually embedded passively in the concrete before the concrete sets. Reinforcing schemes are generally designed to resist tensile stresses in particular regions of the concrete that might cause unacceptable cracking and/or structural failure. Modern reinforced concrete can contain varied reinforcing materials made of steel, polymers or alternate composite material in conjunction with rebar or not. Reinforced concrete may also be permanently stressed, so as to improve the behaviour of the final structure under working loads. In the United States, the most common methods of doing this are known as pre-tensioning and post-tensioning.

The northern two fingers are joined by an atrium, which is spanned by a series of bridges. The southernmost finger was designed to hold low vibration laboratories, and is joined by a glazed bridge at third floor level to the middle finger. [1]

Atrium (architecture) courtyard in a Roman domus

In architecture, an atrium is a large open air or skylight covered space surrounded by a building. Atria were a common feature in Ancient Roman dwellings, providing light and ventilation to the interior. Modern atria, as developed in the late 19th and 20th centuries, are often several stories high and having a glazed roof or large windows, and often located immediately beyond the main entrance doors.

Laboratory facility that provides controlled conditions in which scientific or technological research, experiments, and measurement may be performed.

A laboratory is a facility that provides controlled conditions in which scientific or technological research, experiments, and measurement may be performed.

An 'over-sailing' roof structure connects the three fingers acting as a suspension system for a photovoltaic array/solar shading using thin film technology. This photovoltaic array is designed to produce nearly 41 megawatt hours per annum, a saving of 17,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide each year. [1] [8] At the time of completion this was the largest photovoltaic array in North West England, and helped the architects to win an award for "Business Commitment to the Environment". [9]

A thin film is a layer of material ranging from fractions of a nanometer (monolayer) to several micrometers in thickness. The controlled synthesis of materials as thin films is a fundamental step in many applications. A familiar example is the household mirror, which typically has a thin metal coating on the back of a sheet of glass to form a reflective interface. The process of silvering was once commonly used to produce mirrors, while more recently the metal layer is deposited using techniques such as sputtering. Advances in thin film deposition techniques during the 20th century have enabled a wide range of technological breakthroughs in areas such as magnetic recording media, electronic semiconductor devices, LEDs, optical coatings, hard coatings on cutting tools, and for both energy generation and storage. It is also being applied to pharmaceuticals, via thin-film drug delivery. A stack of thin films is called a multilayer.

Carbon dioxide chemical compound

Carbon dioxide is a colorless gas with a density about 60% higher than that of dry air. Carbon dioxide consists of a carbon atom covalently double bonded to two oxygen atoms. It occurs naturally in Earth's atmosphere as a trace gas. The current concentration is about 0.04% (410 ppm) by volume, having risen from pre-industrial levels of 280 ppm. Natural sources include volcanoes, hot springs and geysers, and it is freed from carbonate rocks by dissolution in water and acids. Because carbon dioxide is soluble in water, it occurs naturally in groundwater, rivers and lakes, ice caps, glaciers and seawater. It is present in deposits of petroleum and natural gas. Carbon dioxide is odorless at normally encountered concentrations. However, at high concentrations, it has a sharp and acidic odor.

North West England region of England in United Kingdom

North West England, one of nine official regions of England, consists of the five counties of Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside. The North West had a population of 7,052,000 in 2011. It is the third-most-populated region in the United Kingdom after the South East and Greater London. The largest settlements are Manchester, Liverpool, Warrington, Preston, and Blackpool.

One condition for planning approval was that the project included corridors for pedestrian access and visual transparency between Upper Brook Street and Oxford Road. This was to counter complaints by the residents of Brunswick, on the other side of Upper Brook Street, that previous university developments seemed to be creating a wall to them. The pedestrian walkway between the second and third finger, and the transparent atrium met these demands. [10] This follows the line of an earlier street, when the site was a residential area, and when reopened will run from Upper Brook Street to Oxford Road and is called "Wilton Street", as it was historically. [11]

Planning permission government permission required for construction or expansion

Planning permission or developmental approval refers to the approval needed for construction or expansion in some jurisdictions. It is usually given in the form of a building permit. Generally, the new construction must be inspected during construction and after completion to ensure compliance with national, regional, and local building codes. Planning is also dependent on the site's zone – for example, one cannot obtain permission to build a nightclub in an area where it is inappropriate such as a high-density suburb. Failure to obtain a permit can result in fines, penalties, and demolition of unauthorized construction if it cannot be made to meet code. House building permits, for example, are subject to local housing statutes. The criteria for planning permission are a part of urban planning and construction law, and are usually managed by town planners employed by local governments. Since building permits usually precede outlays for construction, employment, financing and furnishings, they are often used as a leading indicator for developments in other areas of the economy.

The atrium looking down from the 3rd floor Alan Turing Building 9.jpg
The atrium looking down from the 3rd floor

In the 1960s many mathematics departments were housed in high-rise buildings including the Mathematics Tower at the Victoria University of Manchester, and the Maths and Social Sciences Building at UMIST. These proved completely unsuited to the activities of a mathematics department (and arguably any academic department) as travel between floors in lifts (and uninviting stairways) discourages interaction between mathematicians resulting from chance encounter. Buildings such as the Mathematics Institute at Warwick (at East Site and later the Zeeman Building) and the Isaac Newton Institute at Cambridge are deliberately low-rise and designed to encourage chance encounter.[ citation needed ] The Alan Turing Building was designed with substantial input from the mathematicians[ citation needed ] and the design reflects this including a large open plan common room on the atrium bridge, open corridors and walkways [12] and the relocation of the best traditional blackboards from the old buildings.

High-rise building tall building; as opposed to a low-rise building

A high-rise building is a tall building, as opposed to a low-rise building and is defined by its height differently in various jurisdictions. It is used as a residential, office building, or other functions including hotel, retail, or with multiple purposes combined. Residential high-rise buildings are also known as tower blocks and may be referred to as "MDUs", standing for "multi-dwelling unit". A very tall high-rise building is referred to as a skyscraper.

Victoria University of Manchester British university (1851-2004)

The former Victoria University of Manchester, now the University of Manchester, was founded in 1851 as Owens College. In 1880, the college joined the federal Victoria University, gaining an independent university charter in 1904 as the Victoria University of Manchester after the collapse of the federal university.

Maths and Social Sciences Building

The Maths and Social Sciences Building is a high-rise tower in Manchester, England. It was part of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) until that university merged with the Victoria University of Manchester, to form the University of Manchester, in 2004. It was vacated by the university in 2010 but is currently in use by the School of Materials while waiting for a new building to be constructed.

Occupancy and facilities

The Atrium, during the move of the School of Mathematics Alan Turing building atrium July 2007.jpg
The Atrium, during the move of the School of Mathematics

The Photon Science Institute occupies the southernmost finger, with the northern two fingers housing Mathematics on the first three floors and the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics on the third and fourth floors. The ground floor atrium constitutes a public space including a small café called Pi in the Sky. [13]

Surrounding the atrium on the ground floor are the undergraduate common room for mathematics, as well as lecture rooms and undergraduate computer rooms. The first and second floor of the first two fingers mainly house the offices of academic staff and postgraduate students in mathematics, as well as the Manchester Institute for Mathematical Science (MIMS) conference areas. [14] One of seminar rooms is named after the topologist Frank Adams, and the library after algebraist Brian Hartley. Lecture theatres are named after Mordell, Richardson, Max Newman and Lighthill. A meeting room is named after Horace Lamb and the Access Grid room after Sydney Goldstein. The bridge across the atrium is the common room for mathematics academics and graduate students, where morning coffee is served.

The third floor houses the academic offices of the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, which provides a new base for the research activities in astronomy and astrophysics with the relocation of many staff and students from Jodrell Bank Observatory. The Observatory now forms part of the JBCA and provides leading observational facilities such as the Lovell Telescope and the Multi-Element Radio Linked Interferometer Network (MERLIN). This floor differs in design from the others in that the rooms have windows onto the atrium and glass walls to central corridors in each wing whilst retaining glass walled walkways across the atrium. The astrophysics seminar room is named after Sir Bernard Lovell, founder of Jodrell Bank Observatory. The fourth floor contains a number of labs, an RFI screened room and clean room, all for astrophysics instrumentation construction, such as receivers for the Lovell Telescope and the Planck spacecraft.[ citation needed ] In January 2008 the Project Design Office for the Square Kilometre Array relocated to Manchester to be hosted by the JBCA, co-ordinating the global efforts in constructing the next generation radio telescope.

The Photon Science finger houses laboratories shielded from electromagnetic radiation and resistant to vibration. [15] A bridge on the third floor connects from Astrophysics to the Photon Science Institute, but retaining that finger's resistance to mechanical vibration.[ citation needed ]

Related Research Articles

Jodrell Bank Observatory listed building in Lower Withington, Cheshire East, SK11

The Jodrell Bank Observatory hosts a number of radio telescopes, and is part of the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics at the University of Manchester. The observatory was established in 1945 by Bernard Lovell, a radio astronomer at the University of Manchester to investigate cosmic rays after his work on radar during the Second World War. It has since played an important role in the research of meteors, quasars, pulsars, masers and gravitational lenses, and was heavily involved with the tracking of space probes at the start of the Space Age. The managing director of the observatory is Professor Simon Garrington.

Bernard Lovell English physicist and radio astronomer

Sir Alfred Charles Bernard Lovell was an English physicist and radio astronomer. He was the first Director of Jodrell Bank Observatory, from 1945 to 1980.

MERLIN Radio interferometer in the UK

The Multi-Element Radio Linked Interferometer Network (MERLIN) is an interferometer array of radio telescopes spread across England. The array is run from Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire by the University of Manchester on behalf of Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) as a National Facility.

Square Kilometre Array large multi radio telescope project aimed to be built in Australia and South Africa

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a radio telescope project proposed to be built in Australia and South Africa. If built, it would have a total collecting area of approximately one square kilometre. It would operate over a wide range of frequencies and its size would make it 50 times more sensitive than any other radio instrument. It would require very high performance central computing engines and long-haul links with a capacity greater than the global Internet traffic as of 2013. It should be able to survey the sky more than ten thousand times faster than before.

Lovell Telescope radio telescope at Jodrell Bank Observatory, Cheshire in the north-west of England

The Lovell Telescope is a radio telescope at Jodrell Bank Observatory, near Goostrey, Cheshire in the north-west of England. When construction was finished in 1957, the telescope was the largest steerable dish radio telescope in the world at 76.2 m (250 ft) in diameter; it is now the third-largest, after the Green Bank telescope in West Virginia, United States, and the Effelsberg telescope in Germany. It was originally known as the "250 ft telescope" or the Radio Telescope at Jodrell Bank, before becoming the Mark I telescope around 1961 when future telescopes were being discussed. It was renamed to the Lovell Telescope in 1987 after Sir Bernard Lovell, and became a Grade I listed building in 1988. The telescope forms part of the MERLIN and European VLBI Network arrays of radio telescopes.

Sir Henry Charles Husband, often known as H. C. Husband, was a leading British civil and consulting engineer from Sheffield, England, who designed bridges and other major civil engineering works. He is particularly known for his work on the Jodrell Bank radio telescopes; the first of these was the largest fully steerable radio telescope in the world on its completion in 1957. Other projects he was involved in designing include the Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station's aerials, one of the earliest telecobalt radiotherapy units, Sri Lanka's tallest building, and the rebuilding of Robert Stephenson's Britannia Bridge after a fire. He won the Royal Society's Royal Medal and the Wilhelm Exner Medal.

Mark II (radio telescope) radio telescope of Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire, North West England

The Mark II is a radio telescope located at Jodrell Bank Observatory, near Goostrey, Cheshire, in the north-west of England. It was built on the site of the 218 ft (66.4 m) Transit Telescope. Construction was completed in 1964. The telescope's design was used as the basis of the 60 ft (18 m) Goonhilly 1 telescope, and the Mark III telescope is also based on a similar design.

This is a Timeline of Jodrell Bank Observatory.

Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics astrophysics group at the University of Manchester in the UK

The Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics at the University of Manchester, is among the largest astrophysics groups in the UK. It includes the Jodrell Bank Observatory, the MERLIN/VLBI National Facility, and the Jodrell Bank Visitor Centre. The Centre was formed after the merger of the Victoria University of Manchester and UMIST which brought two astronomy groups together. The Jodrell Bank site also hosts the headquarters of the SKA Obervatory (SKAO) - the International Governmental Organisation (IGO) tasked with the delivery and operation of the Square Kilometre Array, created on the signing of the Rome Convention in 2019. The SKA will be the largest telescope in the world - construction is expected to start at the end of this decade.

Schuster Laboratory houses the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester

The Schuster Laboratory houses the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester and named after Sir Franz Arthur Friedrich Schuster. It is located on Brunswick Street, Manchester, within the Engineering and Physical Sciences faculty of the University. The building was designed by Fairhurst, Harry S. & Sons, of the Fairhurst Design Group, and was completed in 1967. The roof of the largest Lecture Theatre in the building has an abstract sculpture by Michael Piper on it. The building was refurbished in 2007.

Professor Michael (Mike) Garrett is the Director of Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics as of September 2016. He was previously the General Director of ASTRON, part of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.

Marek Janusz Kukula is a British astronomer born in 1969. From 2008 - 2018 he held the post of Public Astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich where his role was to engage the UK public and media with all aspects of astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology and planetary science.

The International Pulsar Timing Array (IPTA) is a multi-institutional, multi-telescope collaboration, comprising the European Pulsar Timing Array (EPTA), the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav), and the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA). The goal of the IPTA is to detect gravitational waves using an array of approximately 30 pulsars. This goal is shared by each of the participating institutions, but they have all recognized that their goal will be achieved more quickly in collaboration, and by combining their respective resources.

<i>The Jodcast</i> astronomy podcast

The Jodcast is a bimonthly podcast created by astronomers at Jodrell Bank Center for Astrophysics, University of Manchester in Manchester, England. It debuted in January 2006, aiming to inspire and inform the public about astronomy and related sciences, to excite young people with the latest astronomy research results, to motivate students to pursue careers in science, and to dispel stereotypes of scientists as incomprehensible and unapproachable. As of 2015, the Jodcast is one of the UK's longest-running regular astronomy podcasts at over 275 episodes and interacts with its audience via a presence on various social media outlets.

Richard John Davis, OBE, FRAS was a radio astronomer for the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics at the University of Manchester.

Dr Mary Almond, is an English physicist, radio astronomer, palaeomagnetist, mathematician, and computer scientist who completed an early PhD in radio astronomy at Jodrell Bank Observatory in 1952.

Richard Battye is a cosmologist, theoretical physicist and former first-class cricketer. He is currently the Professor of Cosmology at the University of Manchester and has been the associate director (science) in the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics since 2015.

Teresa Mary Anderson is a British physicist and the director of the University of Manchester's Discovery Centre at Jodrell Bank Observatory. She is a professor at the University of Manchester and the curator of science at the Bluedot Festival.

Anna Margaret Mahala Scaife is a Professor of Radio Astronomy at the University of Manchester and Head of the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics Interferometry Centre of Excellence. She is the co-Director of Policy@Manchester. She was awarded the 2019 Royal Astronomical Society Jackson-Gwilt Medal in recognition of her contributions to astrophysical instrumentation.


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  2. EMCOR Group PLC 2005 Review, p9 Archived 20 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine accessed 30 December 2007
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  6. "Construction Manager of the Year 2008" . Retrieved 23 December 2008.[ dead link ]
  7. Nick Higham. "Construction of the Alan Turing Building, University of Manchester".. Photographs clearly show construction details including concrete stairway towers and steel frames.
  8. "Constructing Excellence, Demonstration Project".
  9. "Sheppard Robson wins top award" . Retrieved 25 November 2007.
  10. "Manchester City Council Planning and Highways Committee Thursday 21st December 2006, University of Manchester" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 January 2008.
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  12. "Schott solar, quoting Sheppard Robson press release on design of building". Archived from the original on 2 January 2008. Retrieved 29 December 2007.
  13. "Manchester "Food on campus" website, Pi in the Sky". Archived from the original on 12 November 2007. Retrieved 25 November 2007.
  14. "Manchester Institute for Mathematical Sciences: The Alan Turing Building" . Retrieved 25 November 2007.
  15. Energy Efficiency Team (2007). "Improving efficiency by design" (PDF). Energy Efficiency Now (4): 6–8. Retrieved 29 December 2007.[ permanent dead link ]