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Sheppard Robson to build Edinburgh University stem-cell lab - images

Sheppard Robson has won the competition to design the University of Edinburgh's new £35 million centre for regenerative medicine.

The practice saw off locally based practices Reiach & Hall and RMJM as well as international commercial giant KPF to land the project on the university's Little France campus.

The facility will house scientists carrying out cutting-edge stem-cell research.

According to the practice, the building's design has been inspired by stem cells' ability to 'transform into a variety of other tissue cells'.

The design statement reads: 'The nucleus of the scheme, the proposed central support area, acts as the stem cell which, via a series of connecting bridges - the arteries - converts into the functional laboratory buildings - the tissue.'

New laboratories will be built along two sides of the site, linked by a central hub building which will house write-up spaces, meeting areas and a library.

There are also plans for a new café overlooking a large water feature.

Included in the winning design team were structural and services engineer Buro Happold, planning supervisor Turner & Townsend and landscape architect Ian White Associates.

The development is expected to go in for planning next April.

by Richard Waite

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