Clients: Liberty Property Trust and Countryside Properties
Structural Engineering: Ramboll
M&E : KME
Landscape: Growth Industries
Text description provided by the architects. Designed by international architecture and design firm NBBJ, Discovery Drive forms part of the second phase of Cambridge Biomedical Campus’ new globa The 100,000 sq ft laboratory and office facility is now home to over 450 Abcam staff, from all business functions - including R&D, laboratory, logistics, corporate and commercial departments.
The new building provides 75% more space, features fully flexible laboratory configurations, and has new instrumentation and technology for enhanced scientific capabilities. It has also been designed to support agile working and provide introvert and extrovert workspaces. In addition, Discovery Drive has been developed to meet global sustainability standards, enhance employee wellbeing and help protect natural resources in the environment.
Discovery Drive’s interior design creates an open, connected, and collaborative workplace. NBBJ have achieved a flexible and efficient design by organising the building in two distinct volumes. This dual section can be seen from within the full-height atrium space connected by a central staircase. The feature stair links staggered floor plates of offices and laboratories, encouraging opportunities for ad-hoc social interaction between floors.
The building’s striking exterior features parametrically designed extended fins and brise soleil, giving it a distinct identity and marking a new gateway to the south west entrance into the wider campus. Expansive glazing allows views out to the surrounding countryside, while ‘putting science on show’ by making the work within visually accessible to the public. A variety of hard and soft landscaping helps to situate the building within the campus, and outdoor amenity spaces with integral cycle storage are provided for employees. The campus’ natural biodiversity is enhanced through indigenous planting, bird boxes, and landscape rainwater management using bioswales.