Make and Nightingale Associates colloborate for the Ludwig Institute's new Oxford facility
This building is at the heart of the University of Oxford’s world leading cancer research. It brings together six different institutions and is located amongst further research establishments including a leading cancer hospital. The collaborative opportunities were a key factor determining the building’s design.
The building is expressed as a single block with entrances, atria and lightwells carved from it. This visually fluid form promotes interaction between departments and prevents the formation of departmental territories as required by the brief.
Internally the building is set out around two atria; the courtyard and the street.
The street is a reinterpretation of the traditional university quad and forms the focal point of the scheme, encouraging interaction and movement and accommodating two entrances, a café and a knowledge centre. The courtyard is a calmer, more contemplative space.
The building is deliberately flexible and broken up into three zones -laboratories, offices and a mixed zone. A universal 6.6m square grid underlies the design and allows the scientists to select rooms from a range of standardised types.
The design responds to varying solar shading requirements of each facade and the split of laboratory / office functions inside. This is overlaid with a grading of colour which complements the mature planting surrounding the campus.
Sustainable features include generic floorplates to maximise flexibility and life in use and the minimisation of solar gain using an orientation-specific facade design and minimal wall-to-floor ratio.
Significant time was saved on the programme by running the shell and core in parallel with the fit out. This unusual approach to laboratory procurement also allowed science requirements to be adjusted until the last minute. The entire process from concept to completion lasted only 29 months.