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Neuron Pod / aLL Design

Neuron Pod / aLL Design

© Jonathan Cole © Jonathan Cole © Jonathan Cole © Jonathan Cole + 20

  • Architects Authors of this architecture project aLL Design
  • Area Area of this architecture project
  • Project Year Brands with products used in this architecture project
    2019
  • Photographer Created with Sketch.
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Autodesk, Foamseal, Georgia Scott, LITTLEHAMPTON WELDING, McNeel, UFO
  • Engineering

    AKTII
  • Clients

    Queen Mary University/Centre of the Cell
  • M&E

    Watermans Group
  • Cost Consultant

    Turner & Townsend
  • Project Manager

    QMUL Capital Projects
  • Employers Agent

    Gardiner & Theobold
  • Fire Consultant

    The Fire Surgery
  • Acoustic Consultants

    Sandy Brown
  • Acoustic Baffle Artist

    Georgia Scott
  • Building Control Services

    PWC
  • CDM Consultant

    CDM Services
  • Main Contractor

    Total Construction
  • Steel Sub-Contractor

    Littlehampton Welding Ltd
  • Main Contractors Architect

    To-Do Design
  • Lighting Consultant

    Sutton Vane Associates
More Specs Less Specs
© Jonathan Cole
© Jonathan Cole

Text description provided by the architects. Since opening in 2009 Centre of the Cell (CotC) has been doing remarkable work encouraging local school children to study science and enter higher education. With insufficient space CotC had to present their science shows in whichever room was free in the University campus.

© Jonathan Cole
© Jonathan Cole

Neuron Pod provides much needed dedicated space and breathes light into a mews which was always intended to house pavilions, sculptures and events. Neuron Pod allows CotC to expand their scope, offering sessions for adults and sixth form students. QMUL recognised the value of the inspiring architecture in the Blizard Institute and commissioned more in the form of Neuron Pod. Neuron Pod was specifically designed to intrigue and inspire the next generation of scientists.

© Jonathan Cole
© Jonathan Cole

aLL Design’s Principal Director the Late Will Alsop RA OBE continued the design rational from the three existing pods in the Blizard Institute basing the new pod on a Neuron Cell. Developed through several versions according to aesthetics, functionality, buildability and cost the resulting building has maintained a beautifully alive feeling.

© Jonathan Cole
© Jonathan Cole
Short section
Short section
© Jonathan Cole
© Jonathan Cole

Approaching Neuron Pod from its fibre optic clad north façade you walk under its great belly sweeping above you, rising from three legs. On entering the Blizard Institute Neuron Pod is still visible as you climb the stairs to the first floor. Through the Blizard Institutes aerial walkway you approach the entrance of Neuron

© Jonathan Cole
© Jonathan Cole
Long section
Long section
© Jonathan Cole
© Jonathan Cole

By locating Neuron Pod in the publicly accessible mews it offers a glimpse of the Blizard Institute’s striking internal atrium to the general public. As you turn the corner of Newark Street Neuron Pod leans out of the mews, its fibre optic ‘dendrites’ swaying and pulsing hinting at complex life at all its scales from cell to organism. The weathering steel façade is still in the process of developing its rusted patina, currently sporting mackerel stripes, responding to Neuron Pods unique geometry and microclimate. 

© Jonathan Cole
© Jonathan Cole

Pod from the south, visible through the shifting light of coloured glass panels, completing a 180 degree, multi-level orbit of the pod. Stepping into Neuron Pods entrance tunnel the raw steel structure and welding marks are on view, giving an insight into the engineering of the structure. Through the dark tunnel you emerge into Neuron Pod, its cave like walls rising into a high irregular vault within which swarm stainless steel forms based on microglia cells.

© Jonathan Cole
© Jonathan Cole
First floor plan
First floor plan
© Jonathan Cole
© Jonathan Cole

81% of Tower Hamlets primary schools and 100% of Tower Hamlets secondary schools have taken part in CotC’s activities. The new Neuron Pod will be instrumental in widening this participation to more young people in Tower Hamlets along with the wider population with targets set to increase visitor numbers by 30% in the next 2-3 years. The design of Neuron Pod uses creativity to stimulate interest in hard science and, as with the original Centre of the Cell Embryo this is intrinsic to conveying of the message of inclusion. The pod welcomed its first school visitors in February 2019 to rave reviews. All feedback received to date has been overwhelmingly positive.

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Project location

Address: 26-6 Newark St, Whitechapel, London E1 2JJ, United Kingdom

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "Neuron Pod / aLL Design" 24 Mar 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/913656/neuron-pod-all-design/> ISSN 0719-8884
© Jonathan Cole

“神经元豆荚”细胞中心 / aLL Design

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