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The Roslin Institute Building, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Friday 24 Feb 2012

Genetic inspiration

Photos by Chris Humphreys Photography Ltd, Courtesy of HDR 
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29/02/12 Lynn, Flemington
Love the glass paneling... so pretty!

Award Entry

A colourful new hub of veterinary science at the University of Edinburgh 

This new veterinary science Institute on the University of Edinburgh’s Easter Bush Veterinary campus brings together researchers from The Roslin Institute and the Scottish Agricultural College as a critical mass of 450 scientists, students and support staff working across a wide range of disciplines in animal science. 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 such as the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.

In tribute to The Roslin Institute’s renown for having cloned Dolly the Sheep, the architectural design employs a metaphor of chromosomal genetic markers for the building form and layout. On each of the upper floors, a 'strand' of laboratories is paired with a complementary strand of offices. These are bonded together at various points with gathering and circulation spaces, referencing the familiar form of the DNA double helix.

Highly efficient space planning, and transparency through the building, promote openness and interaction, mitigating traditional concerns such as isolation. People circulate along chromatically coloured fin walls that flank vertical air shafts,which work in concert with operable windows as a sophisticated system of natural ventilation for high sustainability. An 'inside-out' laboratory plan locates lab support spaces along the exterior wall, where full-height windows brighten the many hours spent there and extend natural light to the adjacent laboratories. This plan allows the laboratories to be readily adjacent to the open-office write-up space.

Deterring territorial 'ownership' of research space, labs are accessed through shared vestibules. At The Roslin Institute Building, education takes place beyond the traditional classroom: in the laboratories, the cafeteria and the auditorium. These amenities are strategically located on the ground level, highly visible, drawing in students and accommodating the seminars that contribute to their educational experience.

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
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