Sheppard Robson completes the technology company’s headquarters in Cambridgeshire

Sheppard Robson completes the technology company’s headquarters in Cambridgeshire

Designed by Sheppard Robson and interior design group ID:SR, the TTP campus revolves around non-hierarchical collaborative working. It consists of three buildings: the Stock Exchange, the Cell, and the Tech Barn.

The largest, the Hive, is a single-story structure that accommodates laboratories and workspace with the majority of the flexible modular laboratory space open to workspace. The building is designed in a “plug and play” style, made up of a series of modular boxes, with each component either an open or closed laboratory, flexible workplace, or amenity space – allowing for future expansion.

The circulation space defines the entire perimeter of the building and each unit is located in a circulation grid. All but the enclosed laboratory modules are permeable with no hard edges while the 15 x 15 meter tiered grid is intended to create “workplace neighbourhoods”.

In contrast, The Exchange is a circular pavilion and provides space for TTP’s 400 employees to meet in its restaurant, gym, workspace and social events. Floor-to-ceiling glass provides views of the surrounding landscape.

Source: David Ardell

The Tech Barn is located at the north end of campus and contains facilities and equipment designed for large-scale projects or those requiring greater degrees of isolation. The spaces include a large double-height space, a laser lab pavilion, an advanced manufacturing area, advanced biolabs, as well as a public project space.

Promoting biodiversity was also a key part of the project. In addition to the new wildflower meadows, the landscape includes 773 new trees and 984 square meters of trees.2 Wildlife pond and 950m of native fencing.

The scheme’s exposed concrete superstructure uses a concrete mix containing 50 per cent recycled blast furnace slag. Secondary finishes have been removed as much as possible to reduce carbon waste.

To maximize flexibility and facilitate future development, all services for the non-laboratory areas are located underground with a high volume/low speed displacement system that helps calm the environment. All technical laboratory spaces are maintained from above, eliminating long ductwork and reducing energy consumption.

On the roof of the cell, 582 photovoltaic modules produce 38% of the energy requirements of the scheme.

TTP has been based in Melbourne, south-west Cambridgeshire, for more than 35 years, and was previously based in Melbourne Science Park adjacent to the new campus site. Car parks are located a few minutes’ walk south of the Hive and Exchange, encouraging staff and visitors to walk through the wild planted landscape.

Earlier this year, in March, Sheppard Robson unveiled plans for a £250 million office and laboratory facility to house around 75 life sciences and technology companies in the neighboring Melbourne Science Park. Its proposal, backed by Bruntwood SciTech, redevelops the park with more than 36,000 square meters of office and laboratory space across nine buildings. Six of the buildings will be new, while the other three will be renovated.

Source: Hofton + Crowe

Architect’s point of view

It was great to work on the project every step of the way. The design was supported by a year of briefing, which enabled us to understand the culture of TTP and the exceptional work that the organization produces with freedom, openness and expertise. We quickly found commonalities in a persistent problem-solving mindset and an exploratory, iterative approach. We wanted to do things differently – rethink standard metrics – and enter into an exploratory process free of preconceived ideas about what a lab/office should look like.

This process made all but the enclosed laboratory units permeable with no hard edges. Instead of creating vast expanses of space, the 15m x 15m tiered grid creates a sense of workplace neighbourhood. The openness of the spaces allows different teams to work side by side in adjacent units or laboratories, promoting the cross-fertilization of ideas and promoting the free exchange of thinking. Permeability also allows customers to be welcomed into the heart of the business, with flexible customer spaces such as collaboration labs, allowing visitors to experience TTP’s culture first-hand.

From the outset, the brief called for the cell to be a single-storey building – a testament to the ethos of TTP and how it envisions its buildings interacting with the rural village context. TTP has been part of the Melbourne community for over 35 years, having previously been located in Melbourne Science Park, adjacent to the new campus site. The village is very important to TTP, so great effort was made during the design process to engage, consult and communicate with the local community.
David Ardell, partner of Sheppard Robson

Customer point of view

Our new campus enables our technically distinguished staff to come together and work across projects and disciplines. Design has created spaces that enhance the way we work together and alongside our clients, helping us to deliver from the very early stages of a project through to commercial production. We are delighted with the end result and our partnership with Sheppard Robson has been key in bringing the best of our culture and capabilities into an environment that benefits them in so many ways.
Sam Hyde, Managing Director, TTP

project’s data

Start on site May 2021
Completion date April 2023
Total interior floor area 10300 m2
Contract form or purchase method JCT design and build contract
Construction cost 51 million pounds sterling
Construction cost per m2 £4,951
structural engineer Shepard Robson
client Technology Partnership (TTP)
Structural Engineer The second law
Monitoring and evaluation consultant AECOM, CPW
Surveyor amounts Iglad
Interior Designer ID: Real Sheppard Robson
Planning consultant Savills UK
Landscape consultant Spacehub, Canadian Space Environmental Agency
Audio consultant AECOM
project manager Bidwells
Lead designer Origin
Certified building inspector 3C Shared Services
Main contractor Software development center
CAD programs used Revit

Environmental performance data

Percentage of floor area with daylight factor >2% Not attached
Percentage of floor area with daylight factor >5% Not attached
On-site power generation 38% (of on-site photovoltaics)
Annual water consumption Not attached
Air tightness at 50Pa 1.42 m³/hour2
Heating and hot water loading Not attached
Total weighted U-value for the area 0.34 W/m²K
Design your life 60 years old
Embodied carbon/full life Not attached
Annual company2 emissions Not attached

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