New Biochemistry Building


One of the key elements of the Biochemistry Department brief was that their new building should facilitate and encourage the collaboration of researchers and research groups. They wanted a "wow" building that challenged preconceptions of how laboratory buildings should be designed and that also marked the first phase of redevelopment of the University Science Area as a whole.

The department's desire to locate all of its main research activity in a single building on the site combined with the Carfax Height planning constraint in Oxford has resulted in a building that has four storeys of accommodation above ground and two storeys below ground.


About the project


Built on a constrained site in the centre of the University Science Area the scheme provides 12,000 m2 over six floors of accommodation, including two basements, consolidating the whole department into one building within the Oxford planning height restrictions.


The 99 week programme was completed in September 2008 on time and within budget.

Design team and contractor


  • Architect: Hawkins Brown LPP
  • Services Engineer: Foreman Roberts
  • Structural Engineer: Peter Brett Associates
  • Cost Consultant: Turner and Townsend
  • Contractor: LOR Construction South
  • Project Manager: PDCM Ltd
  • Project Completion date: September 2008


Construction cost: £59m


RIBA Award 2009.

Structural Steel Design Award 2009.