Life Science Building design chosen by University of Kent

24th September 2018
Life Science Building design chosen by University of Kent

A design that thoughtfully blends science, nature and innovation.

We’re delighted to have won the design competition and tender for this sector leading facility, leading a multi-disciplinary team with our partners Hoare Lea and Craddys. The £20m Life Science Building will enable the University to develop its vision for state of the art research and teaching facilities.

Our Higher Education team has rich experience in designing and delivering specialist educational buildings. For the University of Kent, we proposed a high-quality yet cost-effective building which fully responded to the brief. It’s also, importantly, a beautiful design.

We knew the building would need to operate as a catalyst for collaborative and highly innovative working.

Our design connects the existing science block with the new Life Science Building. A feature staircase, inspired by DNA, spirals through a full-height atrium, which is flooded with natural light. This is the nucleus of the building and its qualities speak of the facility’s identity; open, visible and collaborative. It also creates as a new focal point and destination for the campus.

The layout stacks labs and academic areas in a structure that is visible and easy to navigate. We also proposed a ‘shared-asset’ culture, which maximises the use of spaces and equipment. This prompts an open and cost-effective way of working across departments.

Our architects worked closely with our landscape team to integrate biophilic design principals. The existing woodland envelops the building, and in turn, the building is outward-looking, with attractive views across a new plaza and into the Woodland Glade.

Always conscious of future-proofing, we also demonstrated the ability for the building to grow and adapt.

We now look forward to next steps of the project, which will see the team engage with the stakeholders and the University of Kent to turn their vision into reality.