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Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building

Sparking innovation

Our new building unites the University’s School of Life Sciences and Warwick Medical School to foster interdisciplinary research in a state-of the-art environment.

Our job is to bring people together, in this case, top scientists searching for answers to 21st century life’s questions. To encourage interaction, collaboration and spark innovation. Now one highly connected building encourages the entire University to come in, walk through and use the gallery spaces, café and auditorium.

Hawkins Brown - Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building - Interior - Students studying

Two adjoining rectangles with contrasting facades reflect the different activity areas inside. One in pre-cast concrete houses the serviced wet research labs, the other in bronze-anodized aluminium houses the write up spaces. Inside the wet labs are all white and functional, while the open-plan write-up and cellular meeting rooms are built with an exposed cross-laminated timber and glulam frame to create a softer, warmer environment for the writing up of research.

The building is 50 per cent pre-fabricated – the unitised aluminium curtain walling, pre-cast concrete cladding, CLT and glulam frame structure in the write up areas, pre-cast concrete structure to the lab areas and packaged M&E systems including a ‘super-riser’ were all manufactured offsite – a design choice which proved invaluable during the pandemic when much of the construction took place.

Hawkins Brown - IBRB - Interior - lab

We reduced whole life carbon by optimising energy efficiency through an efficient form and fabric, minimised solar gain and maximised daylighting by incorporating deep fins to the curtain walling, as well as extensive use of solar panels. We used our in-house carbon emissions reduction tool H\B:ERT early on in the design development, which provided an additional reason to specify timber for the write up spaces and substantially reduced embodied carbon.

We talked at length to students and staff to make sure that all the internal and external places and spaces were as inclusive and accessible as possible. Outdoors, new seating within the wooded landscape encourages passers-by to linger and enjoy the views. Inside, the public are welcome to use the café, gallery spaces, and the auditorium.

Project details

Project name: Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building

Location: Coventry, UK

Service: Design for Manufacture & Assembly, Sustainable design

Value: £50M – £100M

Scope: Architecture

Clients: University of Warwick

Status: Complete

Completion date: 2021

Accreditation: BREEAM Excellent

M+E engineer: Hoare Lea

Structural and civil engineer: Stantec

Landscape architect: B|D Landscape Architects

Project management: Turner and Townsend

Cost consultant: Mace

Main contractor: Willmott Dixon

Delivery architect: Fairhursts Design Group

Planning consultant: Turley

MEP D&B contractor: NG Bailey

Photography: Jack Hobhouse


RIBA West Midlands Awards 2024

If you want to know more about our education and research work, contact Negar Mihanyar

If you want to know more about our education and research work, contact Julia Roberts