The building accommodates a multi-disciplinary department involving Physics, Chemistry and Electronic Engineering, which focus on postgraduate research into advanced materials.
The site occupies a pivotal point in the plan of the campus where it straddles the main pedestrian route which connects the east and west ends and joins a row of buildings and indented spaces which bound the east side of College Park. The buildings that frame the site are united by strong cornice lines at a more or less common level and exhibit a strong horizontal emphasis in their elevations which is expressed by the massiveness of their stone walls and highlighted by continuous string courses and cornices.
The elevations of the new building seek to reflect the precedent established by its neighbours. A granite wall, following the building line of the Physiology Building and facing College Park, matches the height and respects the horizontal emphasis of the adjoining buildings. A portico stands in front of this wall, arranged symmetrically about the space between the Botany and the Physics Building and built from steel and Portland stone.