Aukett Swanke breaks ground in Cambridge

Nick Myall
Tuesday 23 Feb 2016

The crescent-shaped design for a new Cambridge college is inspired by the sinuous landform of its lakeside setting

Aukett Swanke breaks ground this Friday on a prestigious £20m innovation centre at the Cambridge Science Park. Commissioned by Park owner Trinity College, Cambridge, the John Bradfield Centre is named after the biologist, entrepreneur and former senior bursar who founded Cambridge Science Park, the first Science Park in Europe. The project has received government funding by the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills, which is contributing £4.8m as part of its pledge to invest in the UK’s Life Science industry.

The new hub sets a benchmark for the design of future developments in the park. Conceived as a key building at the heart of the scheme the three-storey, 40,000 sq ft facility will function as a vibrant centre for research and development and offering incubator space for high-growth businesses. The new centre is expected to further stimulate Cambridge’s booming tech sector, which has historically been driven by collaboration with the University and surrounding businesses.

It will become the natural meeting point for those active in technology, innovation and entrepreneurship in Cambridge; encouraging collaboration between occupiers and other residents together with visitors to meet and work together in all areas of innovative thinking and discovery.

Aukett Swanke’s crescent-shaped design is inspired by the sinuous landform of its lakeside setting. The building will provide a dynamic open working environment that encourages collaboration and creative thinking, with lake views for all to enjoy. The main entrance to the building is at the southern end and the ground floor is animated by a social hub, including a café, breakout areas and meeting rooms, as well as spaces for collaborative working. A triple-height atrium maximises internal connectivity and views towards the lake, allowing an abundance of daylight into the building. The first and second floors can be configured as open or cellular spaces to suit the tenant businesses.

The external materials express the building’s sinuous form using simple full-height vertical aluminium cladding, with windows that run from floor to ceiling.  Vibrant vertical aluminium brise soleils create a dappled sunlight pattern inside the building. The centre is designed to achieve BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating.

With the new train station nearby linking to London’s King’s Cross and beyond, and ideally located at the heart of Cambridge Science Park, the John Bradfield Centre is set to become a focal point for entrepreneurial activity in Greater Cambridge.

Workspace provider Central Working will manage the John Bradfield Centre, supporting a community of 500 innovators. Bidwells is project managing the development on behalf of Trinity College.

Peter Eaton, Director at Aukett Swanke says: “Our design for The Bradfield Centre creates an exciting and important new hub for the Science Park, seeking to attract new start-ups, and act as a magnet for serendipitous inter-action with existing technology companies and research bodies both local and international. Our design concept provides an internal environment which embraces and encourages a fluid workstyle and creativity.’’

Nick Myall

News Editor

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