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Cardiff University’s flagship new research building nears completion

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Cardiff University- Hadyn Ellis Medical Research Facility Building

Named in honour of the late Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Hadyn Ellis, The Hadyn Ellis Medical Research Facility will house state-of-the-art facilities for university research and it is the first building in Cardiff University’s Maindy Campus Development.

Professor Ellis became Deputy Vice-Chancellor in 2001; during the following years he was able to expand the University’s base of interdisciplinary research and was awarded a CBE for his services to Higher Education in 2004.

The five-storey building – which takes his name – will include an exhibition and atrium, 150-person lecture theatre, café, seminar suites, research clinic, graduate school, research support services and administrative facilities. It will consist of two distinct blocks with a central full height atrium. The rear block will accommodate the laboratories and provide large flexible areas for research. The other block will contain support and write up areas for the research groups, and public areas that include the double height exhibition space, break out areas and lecture theatre.

The turf was cut in 2010 and two years on work is now reaching the final stages ahead of the due completion date in April 2013.

Cardiff University- Hadyn Ellis Medical Research Facility Building

When complete the £30 million Building will be home to some of the world-leading interdisciplinary scientific teams, including the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute, the Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute, and the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics.

Architects have designed the building to complement its neighbour, the University’s School of Optometry and Vision Sciences and to fit in with the nearby residential housing on Maindy Road.Sustainability was a key element of the University’s brief to the design team which set the target of achieving a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating.

The reason for the target was to ensure that the building would have a positive impact on the local community and a minimal impact on the environment.

The Architects working on the project are IBI Nightingale (Formally Nightingale Associates) and talking about the ‘excellent’ target, Project Leader Richard Golledge, said:

“To achieve a BREEAM excellent rating on such a building was extremely challenging for the whole of the design team and the client, we were extremely pleased to hear the Hadyn Ellis building was awarded a BREEAM award in 2012.”

Cardiff University- Hadyn Ellis Medical Research Facility Building

On the materials used, Richard added:

“The design of the building was based on the principles set out within the Masterplan for Maindy Park Campus; we challenged the masterplan approach and developed a building with two distinct building blocks which were linked via a full height glazed atrium, this approach provided additional external area for an enlarged public realm allowing the creation of a plaza between Maindy Road and the new building.

“The block facing Maindy Road is wrapped in curtain walling with a mix of coloured glass panels in reds and oranges which respond to the red brick houses opposite, whilst the block to the rear of the site is clad in grey terracotta panels forming a neutral backdrop and creating a link with the neighbouring Optometry building.  Internally the palette of materials is kept neutral and is a mix of zinc panelling, exposed concrete and ash timber acoustic panelling.  Externally a mix of slate, granite and granite resin has been used”.

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