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Jestico + Whiles wins £150m Cavendish laboratory contest

Cambridge. Image by Andrew Dunn
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Jestico + Whiles has been named as the winner of the University of Cambridge’s contest for a new £150 million department of physics building

The practice – working with CH2M as technical architects – defeated Hawkins\Brown, Sheppard Robson, NBBJ Architects and BDP to land the high-profile project which is expected to start on site in 2018.

Planned to complete in 2020, the new ‘Cavendish Laboratory’ will be constructed on the university’s West Cambridge site.

The project comes almost three years after the university’s Sainsbury Laboratory – designed by Stanton Williams Architects – won the RIBA Stirling Prize 2012.

First opened in 1874, the Cavendish Laboratory relocated to its current West Cambridge home – known as The Mott Building – in the early 1970s.

Named after British chemist and physicist Henry Cavendish, the prestigious facility has so far trained 29 Nobel laureates.

The new building – set to occupy a vacant plot bounded by JJ Thomson Avenue to the east and a green space to the south – is expected to meet stringent vibration criteria and technical requirements for electromagnetic interference.

Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge. Image by Alan Murray-Rust

Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge. Image by Alan Murray-Rust

Source: Image by Alan Murray-Rust

Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge. Image by Alan Murray-Rust

Jestico + Whiles director Tony Ling said: ‘We are thrilled to be working on this world-leading laboratory.

‘Our proposals for the new facility will support the ground-breaking research into physics and cognate sciences that has been taking place at Cambridge for over 140 years and will contribute to the University’s wider development for West Cambridge.’

Elsewhere Jestico + Whiles has been named on a six-strong shortlist of firms competing for a new £16 million Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Centre at Tel Aviv University (TAU).

The studio was the only UK finalist selected from a longlist of 21 which included Dutch outfit UNStudio, CF Møller of Denmark and David Adjaye.

The full shortlist

  • Zarhy Architects (Israel)
  • Atelier d’Architecture Michel Rémon (France)
  • Jestico + Whiles (UK)
  • Office of Architecture in Barcelona (Spain)
  • Elemental SA (Chile)
  • WHY (US)

The estimated 4,000m² building on the eastern side of TAU’s campus is expected to feature 12 laboratories and facilities for up to 120 engineers and researchers.

The finalists will each receive around £33,000 to take their concepts though to the competition’s second stage.

Key buildings on the campus include Mario Botta’s Cymbalista Synagogue and Jewish Heritage Centre (pictured) and the Porter School of Environmental Studies by Geotectura, Axelrod-Grobman Architects and Chen Architects.




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