The brief was to create a leading laboratory that could bring together scientists from complimentary fields and provide an environment that would allow the organic sharing of ideas.
The research laboratory had to provide full flexibility across each of the laboratory floor plates to facilitate differing sized experimental spaces. One of the challenges underpinning the design of the building is that the facility has to be able to accommodate scientific equipment that has not yet been invented and therefore future flexibility is required.
The site, near Goodge Street in Central London, was very compact requiring demolition and careful management of a party wall.
To encourage breakthroughs within neuroscience, we first looked to the research in that field. The building’s design has been informed by the very science that will be studied within. As such, it has been designed to allow for chance meetings and creative sparks. This is best categorised by the bespoke glazed curtain walling. The white cast class façade is translucent, allowing plenty of natural light in but providing privacy from the outside gaze. It also operates as a white board, able to be written on whenever inspiration strikes.
The building has a unique internal special configuration: two-storey open house labs offering visual connections between floors; long horizontally and vertically sightlines though the building and planned encounter spaces to help catalyse the creative energy of co-location. Medical and other services are arranged in a simple, accessible, layered, flexible and legible manner permitting the scientists to reconfigure them and the spaces.
Designed around the needs of the scientists who are carrying out research in the building, the centre forms part of UCL’s main campus and complements the current strength of their neuroscience research community and relationships with other medical research organisations in the local area.
The outcome is an exceptional building, fully accessible, designed from the inside to provide to meet the needs of scientists with a ‘plug and play’ and adaptable approach to services and space. The building fully supports the scientists are social interaction spaces, flexible lecture and seminar facilities, and roof gardens.
Despite being an energy hungry laboratory building the team were able to achieve an impressing BREEAM Excellent rating. The project was also delivered accident free, with over 1,500,000 hours worked on site.
" We are delighted with the completed Sainsbury Wellcome Centre. The Kier team has worked collaboratively with us to exceed our requirements for quality, performance, cost certainty, health and safety, good neighbourly behaviour and security. We have been impressed with the exceptionally high standards of quality and strong understanding of our design vision which is clearly exhibited in the final building. "Strategic PM and Funder’s Representative
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