Masterplan for an addition of 60,000m2 of research space at GSK’s principal UK biopharmaceutical research facility at Stevenage. The scheme echoes the geometry of the existing facility in a cluster of 4 DRAF (Discovery Research Automation Facility) preassembled modular service buildings. These deep plan laboratories are highly serviced with a plantroom extending the length of the building allowing the space to be rapidly switched and changed to suit different research projects. Following an extended period of negotiation with the highways agency outline consent was granted in July 2008.
ALA were retained to develop the scheme and explore opportunities for a bioScience park – providing specialised space for early stage enterprises seeking the advantages of co-location with GSK. The masterplan for the new bioScience park is intended – through spatial and landscape intervention – to promote communication, interaction and knowledge transfer between GSK and the new enterprises. The landscaped court at the heart of the existing facility is taken as the source for a broad, connective landscaped central area that connects a series of new buildings, terminating in a gateway incubator facility providing research ready, supported space for start-up bio ventures.