The Heilbronn Institute for Mathematical Research and the School of Mathematics within the University of Bristol moved to the recently refurbished Fry Building in 2019. This Grade II listed building is situated at the heart of the university campus and provides world class facilities for teaching and research. The Fry Building is now a unique space for learning and research. By approaching this historic piece of estate as an asset was sensitively brought into the 21st century, Architects, Structural Engineers and Contractors, have helped to deliver a facility that will enhance the mathematics department’s standing while reinforcing the University’s cultural and educational ideals.

Heritage: Commissioned by the University College of Bristol, the original section of the architecturally ornate Fry Building was constructed in 1880. Separate wings were added over the following 24 years; it became the first building completed for the newly established University, which received its royal charter in 1909. The majority of the Fry Building is Grade II listed and comprises two separate entries; one for the western U-shaped section and one for the eastern and southern wings.

Public Realm and Landscape: The public realm and landscape design includes a new entrance approach which reflects the north-south axis and opens up the site and connects the new main entrance to the core of the University.

Voronoi Diagram: When the Fry Building was being designed as the new home for the School of Mathematics and the Heilbronn Institute, the School wanted to build in public art connected with mathematics. The School commissioned a specially-designed brise-soleil, or sunscreen, for our new glass atrium. Voronoi diagram creates a dynamic screen to the façade of the new atrium. This screen performs both aesthetic and conceptual functions as well as providing shading to the south-facing atrium.

Dirac notation and the paving design of the main entrance of the Fry building: In the southern courtyard, the design of the paving layout draws on the work of the Nobel Prize-winning Bristol-born mathematician Paul Dirac (1902 – 1984).

Professor Noah Linden, Lead Academic, said ‘The Fry Building is an outstanding home for mathematics in the heart of the University’s precinct, and we are very excited to have moved into it. We have facilities for research and teaching befitting a world-leading mathematics department’.