The University of Dundee is partway through the development of its new Centre for Translational and Interdisciplinary Research (CTIR), which will be a new addition to the College of Life Sciences.
The £26 million project began in July 2012 and is set for completion by the end of February 2014.
The construction during the project will cost around £16 million and the equipping of the CTIR will cost £10 million. The new build project comprises over 4,500 m2 of flexible research laboratories, associated office and meeting space over four storeys with a further two floors of plant rooms. The project is on track to achieve a BREEAM score of ‘Excellent’.
The ground floor of the facility will house a brand new High Throughput robotics and molecular pharmacology space. The second floor will house “Computational Biology”, including Bioinformatics, Biophysics, Data Analysis and Software Development experts.
The CTIR will enhance Life Sciences capacity, particularly in drug discovery, which Dundee is already the leading University in the UK and one of the foremost academia-based centres in the world. The new centre will create around 200 new research jobs in Life Sciences and so will act as a boost to the local economy.
Graham Stuart, director from BMJ Architects, the project architects, said:
“One of the key aspirations of the new facility is to enable innovation by breaking down barriers between scientific disciplines. To facilitate the centre, a new enclosed ‘street’ will be formed, between the CTIR and the existing College of Life Sciences complex. The space will contain a café and act as a meeting place for collaboration and networking.
It will also incorporate a substantial art gallery, curated by Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD), to promote arts and science collaboration and host international and local exhibitions.”
So far the project is progressing steadily; the building is almost complete, pending commissioning and completion of external cladding and internal finishes. The only difficulties the team encountered were the rock levels being higher than envisaged, but otherwise work has ran smoothly.
A new public space has been created on Old Hawkhill with generous pedestrianised access to the College of Life Sciences and CTIR entrances. The external works also include the creation of a new landscaped park, improved disabled access and cycle shelter.
The main contractor on the project was Tracey Brothers, the architects were BMJ Architects and the Project Architect was Jo White. The Project Manager, Ian MacGregor, is from Faithful & Gould.
Phase one of the construction of the CTIR building and development of the first two floors, was made possible by generous contributions from numerous sources. These include Wellcome-Wolfson Capital Awards in Biomedical Science, The University of Dundee, Scottish Enterprise, The Scottish Funding Council, The Drug Discovery Unit, The Sir Jules Thorn Charitable Trust, The BBSRC and other anonymous contributors. Phase two of the project, the development of the upper two floors, was made possible by an award from The UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF).
The inclusion of public art work on the building’s facade and the new landscaped park is aimed to encourage engagement with the wider community.
Project Architect Jo White of BMJ Architects said:
“The design and construction process has been underway for almost five years so it is really great to see the building taking shape. Our work with a forward thinking client has resulted in an expanded brief, successful design collaboration and the creation of numerous additional facilities within the building.
The excellent relationship between the client, design team and construction team has afforded these opportunities and made this a thoroughly enjoyable project for BMJ architects to be involved with.”