21 January 2022

Heatherwick Studio and Veretec designs secure green light for life science hub

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The designs for a new global research hub in Surrey have won unanimous approval from the local planning authority. UCB Windlesham will be home to the UK R&D hub of the Belgian-based life sciences company that specialises in discovery and development of treatments for severe diseases in immunology and neurology.

Lisa Finlay, Partner and Group Leader at Heatherwick Studio, said:

“We wanted to create a new rural home for UCB with an inspiring post-Covid environment for their scientific research. The buildings speak to the landscape and together provide an inspirational setting for creative thinking. We’ve been very proud to work on this. It’s been a real team effort by everyone involved from lab planning, structure and services to landscape design, architecture and the client team. ”

The project relocates the existing facilities on an industrial estate in Slough to a beautiful 47 acre site in Surrey Heath’s greenbelt which will now be refurbished and re-purposed, to create laboratory facilities and headquarters for UCB’s life sciences activities in the UK.

The consented proposals include demolition of an existing building wing to make way for a 3-story submerged extension built using sustainable timber construction. The resulting hub will transform access to laboratories, create new collaborative workspace, and enable the organisation to come together in one campus.

Image Credit: Secchi Smith