Rosalind Franklin Institute Harwell
As the design and BIM lead, IBI Group delivered architecture and landscape architecture services for the Rosalind Franklin Institute — a new national institute dedicated to transforming life science through interdisciplinary research and technology development.
A flagship facility dedicated to transforming life science
UK Research and Innovation, Britain’s national agency for science and research with a budget over £7 billion, works across all scientific disciplines and in partnership with public, private and charitable research organisations. The Rosalind Franklin Institute (RFI) is one of the latest building projects located on the world-leading Harwell Science and Innovation Campus near Oxford.
IBI Group was commissioned to work alongside RFI’s researchers and stakeholders and design the flagship facility alongside design and construction documentation, approvals, implementation and construction phase services and design coordination.
Conceived as an innovative ‘spoke and hub’, the 5,300 sq. m., four-storey building acts as the focal and physical hub, with research knowledge generated by and shared between ten partner university ‘spokes’ based both on and off-site. RFI’s hub is carefully designed to foster unique collaborations and the exchange of ideas between 150 different researchers drawn from academia and industry. One entire floor is designed to foster social interaction campus-wide, as well as providing quiet space for research writing-up. Three floors will house precision imaging, mass spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, structural biology and next-generation chemistry laboratories. State-of-the-art equipment including four isolated electromagnetically stable electron microscope suites are also housed within the Institute.
IBI Group adopted innovative, collective and holistic design approaches to enable the functionality of such a unique experimental science environment. The building sits within a new campus plaza enhanced by an eye-catching external envelope, which includes inspirational motifs drawn from the famous ‘photo 51’, an X-ray diffraction image of the double helix structure of DNA famously captured by Rosalind Franklin and her doctoral student Ray Gosling in 1952.