This new building - of national importance in animal disease monitoring and veterinary research for government and commercial agencies - has been developed with flexibility in mind.
The client required a contemporary research environment to accommodate its Serology and Bacteriology departments with laboratories, offices and conference facilities. But it also wanted one which could enable its users to enjoy chance meetings and social interaction. So the design team incorporated refreshment spaces and generous levels of glazing in the concrete-framed structure to aid natural light and views, along with transparency and a feeling of spaciousness.
A commitment to sustainability and environmental measures has resulted in screens to counter solar gain as well as a new energy centre, building orientation to reduce noise from the nearby motorway and timber from managed, sustainable sources.
A proportion of the laboratories can be recommissioned at short notice to the highest containment level when required - a UK first which provides efficient use of such expensive space in a cost-effective way.
The judges said: 'The approach of a well-integrated project team was applauded in relation to a complex research facility.'