The project is a new research laboratory for this institute focused on the health and welfare of farm animals, and applications of basic sciences in human and veterinary medicine, the livestock industry and food security. The Institute became renowned for its work in genetics when researchers succeeded in cloning Dolly the sheep from an adult stem cell in 1996.
The purpose of the new research building is to bring together about 500 scientists from several different institutions into an open, collaborative environment, to increase the exchange of ideas and encourage interdisciplinary projects – a true research community.
The new facility is sited to define a green quadrangle, developing the heart of the campus and creating an outdoor interaction zone with related neighboring buildings. The solid, brass-panelled laboratory bar offsets the glassy, transparent open office wing, to which it is connected by gathering and circulation spaces.
Highly efficient space planning and transparency through the building, promote openness and interaction, mitigating traditional concerns such as isolation. People circulate along chromatically colored fin walls that flank vertical air shafts, which work in concert with operable windows as a sophisticated system of natural ventilation for high sustainability.
The laboratory and office floors are lifted above the ground floor, to allow the new campus green to continue into the building, figuratively speaking, through public spaces such as an entry court, cafeteria and curved, copper-clad auditorium.