Robotics Living Lab

2023 - 2024

Bennetts Associates is working with Manchester Metropolitan University and the Manchester Fashion Institute to design and build their new Robotics Living Lab. This single-storey timber-framed pavilion, named the 'Work in Progress,' is set to serve as an adaptable workspace, exhibition area, and event space to promote and showcase its work and research into using robotic technologies furthering sustainable fashion production.

The pavilion will be produced off-site before being assembled there

Aligned with the University’s Leadership in Sustainability 2022-2026 strategy and Greater Manchester’s Zero Carbon Manchester 2038 plan, the pavilion stands as an exemplar project in low-carbon design. It incorporates biogenic and regenerative materials, such as a UK Douglas fir timber frame and straw-insulated wall panels, both chosen for their ability to capture carbon during production or the life cycle. The exterior, will feature shou-sugi-ban charred timber cladding. The expressive waffle soffit structure of the timber frame, left exposed, offers warmth and character to the internal space.


The upfront carbon figure of 364 kgCO2e/m2 A1-A5 attests to the project's commitment to sustainability, nearly achieving the LETI 2030 Design Target and earning a LETI B rating for offices. The full breakdown of which is available to download from this link. The design further prioritizes operational sustainability, employing passive control systems, natural ventilation, radiant heating, and cooling to minimize upfront carbon associated with services.


The pavilion meets the Manchester Metropolitan University’s climate commitments entirely, embedding circularity and low carbon design whilst also acting as a landmark space on the All Saints campus for fashion designers and manufacturers.

Sam Gills, Architect, Bennetts Associates


Project Information

  • Client
  • Manchester Metropolitan University


  • Upfront Carbon (A1-A5) incl. LETI Rating –
  • 364 kgCO₂e/m²