The Town Planning brief for this new University building was twofold:

Firstly, the City of Portsmouth required a building that would provide a suitable landmark to a prominent corner site in the city centre. The site is particularly visible when seen in perspective from St Michael's Road. In addition, the building is to anticipate more normal future development of the White Swan site car park to the east. The City further requested that the height of the new building should form a transition between the existing six storey University building and the future four storey development on the White Swan site.

Secondly, the building is an early contributor to the new Masterplan for the University of Portsmouth prepared by Professor Sir Colin Stansfield-Smith. In this plan the Science Departments are to be consolidated on this and adjacent sites. To this end the building is to provide an extension to the existing St Michael's building.

Unlike the free standing King Henry and St Michael's buildings adjacent, the proposed new Science Building almost totally occupies its irregular site. Also, unlike the equivalent facades of these neighbouring buildings, the new Science building provides distinct and different elevations. At the corner facing the intersection at St Michael's Road and King Richard I Street, the curved facade acts as a shield to the noise of traffic and the southerly exposure. Here the windows are set flush in a six storey facade of silver aluminium panels, the semi- circular corner prow forms the landmark and conceals the exposed flank of the incomplete St Michael's building. At ground level a pedestrian easement cuts into the comer forming a flat panel for the future building sign. This closes the long view motorists will have as they proceed north along St Michael's Road.

The east elevation facing the city car park expresses the structural frame and is four storeys high. It forms one side of a proposed pedestrian street which gives access to the main entrance. As the St Michael's building does not have a credible front door it is proposed that this entrance will provide for both buildings. Turning the comer into White Swan road the facade is relatively neutral with windows to the escape stairs, It is here that the lift lobbies and connections to St Michael's are positioned with natural light and views to the United Services playing fields to the south west.

The building provides accommodation for Pharmacy and Physics, Undergraduate and Research Departments: With the exception of the lecture theatres and the large teaching laboratories which are accommodated in the semi-circular corner, the remaining accommodation is planned in a less specific and flexible manner.

Limited competition - July 1992
Building Contract - September 1994-March 1996