Monday, 20 April 2020

Launching the S&C classic collection

Outstanding engineering: taking you on a tour of Skelly & Couch environmental design classics

Today Skelly & Couch launches a new regular series celebrating some of our most successful projects. S&C classic collection takes a retrospective look at a wide selection of high-quality built environments and explores how in every case we have applied our distinctive multi-disciplinary approach to solve complex design challenges and push forward innovation. Our journey begins with ORTUS learning and events centre in Camberwell, south London.

Award-winning engineering

ORTUS is a stunning learning and events centre based in Camberwell, south London, adjacent to the world-renowned Institute of Psychiatry, Maudsley Hospital and King’s College London. It was named Building Project of the Year (up to £10 million) in the 2014 British Construction Industry Awards and won a 2014 RIBA National Award. The 1,550sqm building, split over seven half levels, is designed as an inspirational and flexible learning space, promoting mental health and well-being through an enhanced built environment.

Exemplary design

Exemplary environmental design and sustainable technologies underpin this meticulously planned learning environment, which is open to all and houses teaching and conference facilities, a community café and exhibition spaces. The building form was developed to:
maximise the penetration of sunlight throughout the year in a central atrium, despite the site being on a north-facing slope
promote the use of natural light and ventilation provide a diversity of environments, visual, thermal and acoustic, to cater for different types of activities and states of mind.

Environmental features

Manual and automated natural ventilation, coupled with profiled soffit and exposed fair-faced concrete brickwork, maximise the effects of thermal mass. The primary thermal source is a closed loop ground source installation consisting of seven 120m vertical loops and a simultaneous heat/cool pump unit, partly powered by a roof-mounted PV array. An integrated KNX system controls HVAC and lighting.

The ORTUS project, has a BREEAM sustainability rating of ‘Excellent’ and is EPC ‘A’-rated.

Project data

Maudsley Learning

Camberwell, south London

Conservation area

Project value

Completion date
June 2013


Jack Hobhouse