The RIBA has launched a contest to design a £6 million innovation centre for chemicals giant Johnson Matthey (JM) near Reading
The winning multidisciplinary team will create the centre for the FTSE 100 company which was founded in 1817 and specialises in chemicals and sustainable technologies such as emission control catalysts for vehicles.
The project will deliver an ‘innovative and flexible’ facility where the company can work with customers to deliver new products on its main site at Sonning Common, within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
In its brief JM says it ‘is looking to build a customer innovation centre that inspires and engages customers and future partners. The centre will showcase how JM applies cutting-edge science to create innovative, sustainable solutions to its customers’ complex problems. The preferred site for this new centre is at JM’s Sonning Common facility, near Reading, which is the base of its corporate science and technology centre.
‘It is expected that the building will be an innovative and flexible space where individual visitors and small or large groups can be accommodated in an integrated experience. The site is located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and as such will need careful design and presentation for planning.’
Johnson Matthey was founded by Percival Norton Johnson and George Matthey during the 19th century and originally specialised in assaying gold in the City of London. Today the company works on a number of sustainable technologies including cathode materials for electric car batteries.
The new ‘statement building’ will be expected to create a high-quality visitor experience at the Sonning site and target BREAAM Outstanding.
Four practices will be invited to draw up design concepts following an open expressions of interest round. Jo Wright from Arup Architecture will oversee the competition as RIBA architect adviser.
The deadline for applications is 2pm, 4 September.
How to apply
Visit the competition website for more information
No 1 Aire Street
Tel: 0113 203 1490