We designed the first scheme in 1982 for PA Technology and Science at Cambridge as the result of a recommendation from Richard Rogers. The requirement was for a fermentation plant test facility. PATS subsequently requested that we designed a flexible building that had the potential to be a biotechnology laboratory, or a clean room.
The building was designed as an entrance pavilion to the PATS centre site where existing offices and laboratories designed by Richard Rogers Partnership were located, rather than as an ‘industrial shed’. It was felt inappropriate for PATS’ existing site and architecture to introduce an industrial estate language. It is cut into the landscape, together with its access road, to ensure that the open landscape flows up to the horizon and that the building appears as a pavilion. The building is organised into a central process or clean room area, with translucent glazed end walls, and two ancillary masonry enclosures. The roof, incorporating clear and translucent glazing, overhangs the built elements underneath, and is supported independently by an expressed simple steel structure.
Provision is made to incorporate vertical planting screens between the external columns and the masonry spaces.