Construction Begins On £40m Hub At Oxford's Harwell Campus


The new 58,000 sq ft building will form the central hub of the new Rosalind Franklin Institute, which helps carry out interdisciplinary research and develops new technologies to transform our understanding of diseases and speed up drug design. 

The ground floor has been designed for optimum stability to house sensitive scientific instruments. This unique requirement means the foundations of the ground floor will be separated from the rest of the building to shield it from vibration.

To prevent electromagnetic interference, stainless steel reinforcement will be used in the structure, and non-ferrous materials used in the fabric, finishes, and mechanical, electrical and plumbing services. The aim is to create a close to perfect, stable environment to test the limits of specialist technologies such as electron microscopy and mass spectrometry. 

The remaining three floors will house collaborative working spaces, offices and social areas as well as structural biology, chemistry and imaging laboratories, designed to be flexible to support new collaborations and avenues of technological development as the Institute grows. 

Mace will deliver the project through the Southern Construction Framework, with the Science and Technology Facilities Council serving as the construction manager. 

The building will honour the Institute's namesake, Rosalind Franklin, the experimental scientist famous for taking the X-ray photograph of DNA that helped establish its helical structure.

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