Science & Medicine

Our buildings for science and medicine span both industry and academia. Common to both is a trend towards the sharing of ideas – whether formally such as in our education centres for Royal Colleges which focus on state of the art teaching or through collaborative working environments in and around laboratories where traditional write up zones are giving way to more interactive shared spaces.

The rapid change in research techniques means that the laboratories we design need to be more responsive to change. Super adaptability can be prohibitively expensive and so there is a real challenge to identify how far the potential of generic laboratories can be extended by the shared use of core and specialist facilities.

This is something we explored for the University of Cambridge through Project Capella which also examined two other trends – the growth of “dry” laboratories and the increase in laboratory automation. Our experience in industry has also given us an insight into the environments needed for Research and Development to enable the trailing of production alongside research.