Science centre

In 2009 a development masterplan was approved for our East Road site in Cambridge. The aim was to enhance our facilities and if possible to rationalise any fragmented departmental accommodation.

Our immediate focus for development is a new, single Life Sciences Centre incorporating a 300-seat lecture theatre adapted for science; a 200-seat laboratory providing flexible teaching space; staff offices and a range of specialist teaching space on the site of the Bryant and Mellish Clark buildings along Broad Street.

The Science Centre will bring together teaching, postgraduate and staff facilities for four different departments in the Faculty of Science & Technology: computing and technology; psychology; animal science; and biomedical science/forensics. The building has been designed to reflect the nearby residential accommodation where they meet on Broad Street, ensuring the three-storey section matches the existing building height by sinking half a storey below pavement level. Set back from the boundary towards the centre of the campus, the building height will rise to five storeys.

The 220-place 'super-laboratory' on the ground floor represents a new way of teaching science, where several classes from different disciplines can be taught at the same time in one space.

Environmental considerations

We're very concerned about the environment, and have considered transport, ecology and pollution as part of the planning process.

Through our new Energy Centre we'll make a total carbon saving of over 30% by using gas more efficiently and generating our own electricity.

Considerate contractor scheme

We made sure that our contractors are part of the Considerate Contractor Scheme. The Considerate Contractor Scheme is designed to ensure that construction and routine maintenance activities in Cambridge progress without making life unpleasant for people who live and work nearby. Scheme members are asked to give a commitment which is over and above the legal minimum requirements and is described in the scheme's code of good practice.

Our contractors are going to work from 8am-6pm Monday-Friday, and 8am-1pm on Saturday. At no time will they work on Sunday, Bank or Public Holidays.

Public Art

Sketch of Science Centre, Anglia Ruskin University
The proposed public art for our Science Centre project is titled Transformation and is informed by the main aims in the design, namely to see science in action. Designed by artist Annie Cattrell the work is to be sited on the west and south faces corner faces, at a 90-degree angle. The concept is to make a large-scale visually scintillating and kinetic rippling surface that responds to the wind, rain and sunlight. The piece, formed from hundreds of small discs, will appear as a solid surface yet each disc will have the ability to move independently in response to the wind, creating an ever changing pattern and movement across the surface.

CGI of Science Centre, Anglia Ruskin University
Transformation will visually activate and animate the planes of the building giving it a unique ever changing focal point which reinforces the identity of the purpose built Science Centre as a locus of knowledge, academic excellence and creativity. The mutable surfaces have also designed to act as a metaphor for the transformative nature of energy and learning, in this case the momentum that can happen in a scientific research and its ongoing impact on the world.

A Public Engagement programme has been developed and designed to underpin this material and conceptual theme both in approach and in exploring how the digital and data gathering technologies scientists use inform the process of observation and discovery.