State of the art contemporary research laboratories and office refurbishment for the Centre of Respiratory Biology at UCL Rayne Building.
The Rayne Building is located on University Street within the UCL Campus in north-west Bloomsbury. The building was constructed in 1976, comprising of purpose-built research laboratories for medical research.
The appointment of the new Dean provided UCL with the ideal opportunity to consolidate all respiratory research groups to form a new collaborative Centre for Respiratory Biology. Co-location of the Respiratory Biology Group, Centre for Inflammation and Tissue Repair and Lungs for Living is believed to enable the formation of a more integrated new research centre.
One of the major challenges was to design a highly specialised research facility that would accommodate 70 researchers within an existing floor plate, and allow long term flexibility as methods of research change and research groups fluctuate in size. A flexible 3x3m module was developed which could work either as a 2 person principle investigators office, a four person PHD student workspace or a meeting room. This was fully lined in timber to allow for a quiet working environment and a visual contrast to the more functional and striking monochromatic lab areas.
The Big Idea
The whole floor plate was stripped out and most of the internal partitions were demolished to allow as much natural daylight as possible. Where partitions were required in the new scheme these were installed in full height glass.
The Small Detail
A new graphic identity was developed for the centre which started at the reception as an image which compliments the new tri-ply reception desk and storage unit.
Working From the Inside Out
The interior design strategy has been developed alongside the space planning exercise from an early stage of the design to ensure the design concept is well integrated with the interior proposal. The overall palette of materials of the building shifts from the very functional high performance synthetic materials of the laboratories, to a progressively warmer palette with diversity of natural materials in the write up and office area for contrast and better comfort.