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FJMT bags planning for Oxford chemistry lab

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[First look + plans + project data] Australian practice FJMT has won planning permission for this £170 million Chemistry laboratory complex for the University of Oxford

The 20,000m² building on South Parks Road allows the university’s Chemistry department to operate out of one central location instead of four separate facilities in the city.

In 2009, Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (FJMT) beat Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, MAKE, RMJM and Schmidt Hammer Lassen in an international architectural competition to design the complex.

The scheme – which according to the practice aims to create a landmark for the University Science Area – was unanimously approved by Oxford City Council’s West Area Planning Committee.

The facade design features ‘automated shaped’ timber louvers which ‘complement’ the colour, scale and texture of Oxford’s heritage buildings, it is claimed.

A statement from the practice explained: ‘The proposed design presents a dynamic assembly of architectural forms which is open and welcoming, yet complementary to the heritage scale, streetscape and urban context.

‘It is a distinctive and exciting architecture that reflects the aspiration of the Department of Chemistry.’

The building is targeting a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating and aims to use 20 to 50 per cent less energy than the university’s existing Chemistry Research Laboratory.

A ‘Chemistry Green’ series of landscaped open spaces will surround the building.


Project data

Client: University of Oxford
Designer: Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (FJMT)
Project Manager: PDCM
Cost Manager: EC Harris
Structural Engineers: Pell Frischmann
Services Engineers: Hoare Lea Building
Landscape Designer: FJMT
Planner: DPDS
CDM & Health and Safety: HCD Management
Approved Inspector: Oxford City Building Control Services



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