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Competition: John Innes Centre, Norwich

John Innes Centre, Norwich
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UK Shared Business Services is looking for a design team for a £250 million expansion of the John Innes Centre (JIC), a scientific institute in Norwich

The multidisciplinary team chosen for the £10.5 million contract will draw up plans for a major 34,562m² expansion to the influential research and training institute, which specialises in plant and microbial science.

BDP has already completed an initial report detailing potential options for the 7ha project, which will deliver new research and office buildings along with 5,162m² of horticulture facilities on the suburban Norwich Research Park site by 2025. A project manager, cost manager, and mechanical, electrical and public health consultant are also sought in separate lots.

According to the brief: ‘JIC is a world-leading institute, which in order to remain fully competitive, requires an estate that is commensurate with its scientific vision and its global stature. JIC requires large-scale modernisation of its infrastructure in the context of the emerging Norwich Research Park campus, to sustain its leadership position and deliver its maximal impact for the UK bio-economy, UK food-security and international sustainable development goals for decades to come.

‘JIC has developed a science vision that depends on multidisciplinary teams, integration, and greater continuum between dry and wet science exemplified by developments in computational biology, plant growth and specialist analytical facilities. An estate that is able to facilitate delivery of this vision by providing future-proofed flexible accommodation is essential.’

The JIC first opened in 1910 as the John Innes Horticultural Institution in Merton, south London. The independent research institute was set up with funds bequeathed by the merchant and philanthropist John Innes and moved to its present site in 1967.

Today the 28,000m² JIC complex comprises three large science buildings along with a library, administrative area, conference centre and insectary. Around 9,000m² of plant growth facilities are located nearby.

The centre specialises in improving wheat yields, investigating how plants and microbes deploy complex chemicals, and exploring how plant development is shaped by the environment.

Nearby facilities include the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, the Denys Lasdun-designed University of East Anglia, and the Quadrum Institute of Biosciences.

Many of the JIC buildings were constructed in the 1960s and 1980s and are now considered ‘tired, dated and no longer fit for purpose in the new era of multidisciplinary science.’ Recent staff increases have also left the complex with ‘overcrowded’ working environments.

BDP’s initial study into expansion options set out four separate approaches to the development with the studio’s ‘cluster’ proposal now identified by JIC as the preferred scheme.

The winning team will prepare designs for several business case options, consider the impact of any new building within the wider Norwich Research Park masterplan, and develop designs up to RIBA Stage 2 for the expansion itself along with new horticultural greenhouses and controlled environment rooms.

The deadline for applications is 2pm, 18 December.

How to apply

View the contract notice for more information

Contact details

Rebecca Fish
UK Shared Business Services
Polaris House

Email: fmprocurement@uksbs.co.uk

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