Ipsen is a global specialty-driven pharmaceutical group selling in excess of 20 drug types in more than 115 countries with an R&D expenditure of around €193 million.
Ipsen’s ambition is to be a leader in specialty healthcare solutions for targeted debilitating diseases. This strategy called for the consolidation of their research in the heart of leading biotechnological and life sciences hubs.
Ipsen had undertaken a preliminary study which sought to define broad proposals for accommodating their Oxford research group, at Milton Park. They then appointed Austin to undertake a critique of these proposals, to develop them into a viable detailed design and to deliver this 2700m² prestigious science facility.

`Austin’s team have delivered a superb new laboratory and office space in which Ipsen’s UK R&D team are now located. From the design process and through the construction Phase, Austin have listened to the needs of the Ipsen team and understood the vision for the new site.  The laboratory requirements were challenging, and yet the construction phase has been completed within eight months, on time to accept the personnel transferring from other Ipsen UK sites.’ – John Chaddock, VP Neurology Site Head, Ipsen Bioinnovation.

Medical Research Council, Gambia

The MRC have a number of research sites in the Gambia. The principal unit is in Fajara with field sites up country in Keneba, Basse and Walikunda.

The research portfolio spans scientific research, clinical trials, large epidemiological studies and intervention trials.

The field and laboratory-based work draws on excellent research and clinical facilities and attracts international funding. The Unit has an established staff complement of about 200 scientists,  clinicians and senior administrative staff from many parts of the world, as well as hosting many visiting researchers, and has over 500 support staff.

There are requirements for expansion and modification to the facilities for both scientific and support functions.

The requirements on the Fajara site are for support facilities for the scientific community. These include additional on-site housing for all staff and visitors and for a lecture theatre to support the  promotion and communication of science undertaken in the Gambia.

Austin carried out a site inspection and user discussions. From this a site master plan was developed and agreed with the site team. Proposals for new facilities were designed within the site master  plan framework.

Over the years a loose zoning of the site has evolved. A cluster of scientific buildings and a cluster of support functions are located centrally on the site. Housing is dispersed generally towards the  perimeter of the site. The clinic is located on the perimeter in a secure compound with main public access off-site.

Developed strategy: The scientific zone with the new Whittle Building has space  available for additional science buildings.

A new lecture theatre is proposed adjacent to the existing meeting rooms, library and office facilities.

Proposed new housing is located around the perimeter of the site utilising vacant space  between existing houses and land adjacent to boundaries.

The proposed strategy allows for a phased approach to any development.

Lecture Theatre: The MRC in Gambia has increasing global reputation and importance resulting in an increase in visitors, collaborative work and sharing of scientific developments. Fajara is at the centre of this activity in the Gambia and requires new international meeting and conference facilities to support the business.

The proposal is for a new stand-alone facility comprising a large sub-divisible space, which will accommodate approximately 200 people. It will provide a flexible response to the requirement for meeting space.

The new centre utilises a mixed mode system of natural ventilation and mechanical ventilation to reduce energy consumption but respond to large numbers of occupants. The flat roof  accommodates an array of solar panels.

Housing: additional provision is required for new staff, visitors and to accommodate staff currently off site.

23 new houses have been designed ranging from 2 – 4 bedroom units.

The new housing  will be single storey bungalow type in individual fenced compounds some with carports. All properties have external covered verandas, with areas enclosed with insect mesh panels.

Cadbury World

Cadbury World is a unique and world leading facility providing an experience of chocolate enjoyment. Based in Bournville it is adjacent to the centre of excellence for the development and production of chocolate in the UK.

This high profile facility attracts visitors from all over the world throughout the year. Visitors range from young families to grandparents and the range of customer facilities needs to respond to a  very broad demographic.

Front of house facilities are particularly important and these include toilet and baby change facilities.

Austin was selected to assist Cadbury World in the upgrade and enhancement of their existing customer facilities.

Cadbury World is so well renowned that it has very few days when it is closed to the public. This created a real challenge to the refurbishment of this key function within the facility.

The Austin delivery strategy incorporated the provision of high quality temporary toilet accommodation to ensure the smooth operation of Cadbury World whilst providing the opportunity to  isolate the existing toilets for construction.

Construction activities were closely managed to minimise disruption and segregate construction activities to the 4,000 visitors daily. The project was undertaken in normal working hours during the client’s busiest period, coming up to Christmas.

The design maximised the opportunity within the existing toilet footprint and constraints of the building. This required utilising existing infrastructure and services, in particular the drainage  connections.

Both male and female toilets are spacious to accommodate high volume turn around and equipped with wash troughs to improve flow and enhance cleaning protocols. Wider than normal cubicles have been designed to allow space for parents and children. Ambulant access cubicles are also provided.

Centrally located for ease of use, an access toilet is provided fully equipped with statutory support rails and other equipment.

Two purpose designed baby changing and baby feed rooms with soft  furnishings create a comfortable environment for mothers and children.

To meet the requirement for visitors with Profound  and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD) a changing places room was incorporated and registered.

This specifically designed room includes a height adjustable changing bench, toilet, basin and hoist. This facility can make all the difference to someone with PMLD and improve the whole experience and enjoyment of visiting Cadbury World.

Austin provided complete multidiscipline design and construction services to provide a turnkey project delivery.

The completed design provides an extensive range of facilities to enhance the visitor experience yet with a high performance and robust specification.

The whole facility was delivered successfully within very stringent time and cost constraints.

“Thank you to everyone at Austin involved on the Cadbury World project for all your efforts and professionalism, well done” – Gerrard Baldwin, General Manager Cadbury World

“Austin  performed beyond my expectations and managed it well – I would not hesitate to recommend Austin to others” – Tim Gimbert, Cadbury World Operations Manager

“I wouldn’t hesitate using or  recommending Austin Group and their personnel as even after 12 months the service has been outstanding” – Tim Gimbert, Cadbury World Operations Manager

National Category Facility Award  Winner (Platinum) 2014

Merck Sharp & Dohme

As part of a rationalisation of business functions, Merck Sharp and Dohme required the provision of quality conference and meeting facilities at their site in Hoddesdon.

Similar functions on other sites and out of house facilities were to be consolidated into the new corporate location.

The development area identified was in the ground floor of the Fleming building which currently housed warehousing and some office support facilities.

The new corporate centre was to be sited in part of the existing ground floor warehouse.

Provide a multidisciplinary design, manage and construct service to deliver the project within a demanding budget and time frame.

Austin won a design competition to provide a series of conference, training and meeting rooms with support areas.

Features include space for four, 30 person private conference rooms, each with moveable acoustic walls to allow a combination of room sizes, or fully open space for large theatre style presentations. Six syndicate rooms and two additional  training rooms are also included.

Conference facilities are supported by a large breakout space which can be configured as a coffee and food serving area. An entrance/ reception and toilet facility complete the centre.

A walk-on deck above the conference rooms provides access to existing services as well as the new mechanical and electrical systems to support the centre with state-of-the-art audio-visual and lighting controls.

Existing high level services serving other parts of the building had to be maintained during construction.

This deck also provides a robust solution to the requirement for a high level of acoustic separation to each of the spaces.

The Fleming building was fully operational on all floors of the three storey building throughout the construction period.

The facility has been named “The Discovery Centre” with a branding to positively reflect the activities of the company, and broader corporate image.

Advantica Technologies

Advantica Technologies occupied 33,000m² of office and laboratory accommodation at their premises in Loughborough. Their requirements of a building rationalisation project involved the consolidation of Advantica operations into half the space with the remaining section being stripped back to a bare shell and core infrastructure services.

The brief called for Austin to provide a feasibility study leading to detail design information, procurement support with project management to carry out the work.

Austin was also required to provide onsite supervision to carry out detailed inspection of construction works and provide record drawings for the completed building works.

The project entailed constructing a new reception area with conference areas, meeting rooms, kitchen and cafeteria dedicated to serving the new Advantica sector of the facility. The existing process and chemical test rigs and laboratories were decommissioned and then relocated into the new Advantica sector to include all services and enclosures. The relocation process involved an in-depth survey of all services and planning for each test rig. The requirements were discussed in depth with the users from which the new layouts were developed.

Construction and handover were to be within the agreed timescales and budget.

AstraZeneca – New PR&D – Macclesfield

AstraZeneca - New PR&D - MacclesfieldThis project is a 12,000m2 facility providing four floors of research laboratories and associated offices, write up areas, meeting rooms and interaction areas.

Each floor operates independently via a dedicated plantroom per floor. Both offices and research laboratories have prefabricated service supply modules.

The voids act as a supply air plenum to the open plan areas.

The meeting rooms were designed for prefabrication off site and are fully demountable for easy relocation.

A “No Ceiling” philosophy has been adopted to allow easy access for flexibility and maintenance.

The open plan laboratories accommodate 260 fume cupboards. A full height atrium fronts the office and serves to connect existing buildings on both sides providing a casual meeting space on the ground floor, a refreshment hub and direct access to a library and meeting rooms.

AstraZeneca – Fit out Lecture Centre – Alderley Park

AstraZeneca – Fit out Lecture Centre – Alderley ParkThis project entailed the provision of an on-site meeting and conference facilities to serve the scientific community at the Alderley Park site.

The new building provide an “off-site” type of environment that is different functionally and aesthetically to the “on-site” meeting rooms.

The new facility provides:

  • Sufficient capacity to allow the Science Community to engage in large conferences and small groups interface
  • A 280 tier seated auditorium with state of the art audiovisual equipment
  • Three to one flexible meeting room with full AC facility
  • A series of small meeting rooms all overlooking the Alderley Park landscape

Austin were engaged as an AstraZeneca Alliance Partner to provide Design and Construction of the high quality and high performance interior design and fit-out of the entire facility.

AstraZeneca – Mill Court – Macclesfield

AstraZeneca – Mill Court – MacclesfieldAustin’s challenge was to provide a “gateway” building onto the Macclesfield site with architectural styling appropriate to the manufacturing site.

This extended to the provision of a new site entrance and reception building incorporating a wing of office accommodation, a new site restaurant with kitchen facility and a suite of training and meeting rooms. We had to consolidate site wide dining facilities with a multi-functional space and provide a high visibility entrance and reception to cater for both visitors and site personnel.

The facility provides a highly flexible solution to allow for changing occupants and different functional requirements through the building.

The main part of the building under a double curved roof supported by curved Glulam Beams accommodates space for 800 diners on the ground floor. This space can be easily converted to an auditorium for 400 with full Audio Visual provision and stage. The central kitchen and servery are located behind the dining area.

On the first floor a full width balcony forms part of the upper floor dining area including kitchen and private dining suites.

The third floor which also overlooks the restaurant accommodates a variety of training and meeting room suites, support rooms and break out spaces.

A three storey atrium link connects across the entrance reception to three floors of open plan office accommodation for 60 staff.

The building comprises 8,350 m² and was constructed in 16 months using an AstraZeneca led alliance system which involves close team working of contractors, designers, client and users.

Austin provided Architectural, Structural, Drainage and Engineering design services with ‘on-site’ support during the construction through to handover.

The Austin Company won this project in an Architectural design competition with 3 others.

Merck Sharp & Dohme – Fleming Office Building – Hoddesdon

The Austin Company were commissioned to provide preliminary design, detail design and construction services for Refurbishment and Upgrade of over 6,714 m² of research laboratories, excluding plant and roof space.

The project consists of refurbishing the existing first and most of the second floor accommodation. The concept was to allow 6 existing Chemistry Departments to expand and update their facilities.

The general design principals were to Phase the project in such a way as to:

  1. Eliminate any double decanting
  2. Reduce the construction Programme
  3. Address Materials management issues, both incoming and outgoing.
  4. Rationalise Laboratory adjacencies together with office areas and ancillary accommodation.
  5. Increase potential flexibility of the laboratory areas
  6. Minimise impact of the refurbishment on existing occupiers

Once the general arrangements and adjacencies were established a series of structured user discussions were conducted in order to establish the detail requirements for each individual department. These formed the basis of a comprehensive room data sheet directory which detailed all elements of individual rooms including furniture.

The general Phasing Strategy was then divides into smaller construction zones which allowed earlier start dates for sub-contractors allowing better quality control. This culminated in a shorter construction programme a reduction from 18 to 12 months.

The results exceeded all Client expectations and provided MSD savings of over £1M.

AstraZeneca – Office Development – Charnwood

AstraZeneca - Office Development – CharnwoodOn this project the challenge was to provide appropriate Clinical R&D office building on the Charnwood site to meet the business needs and re-house all Clinical scientists, associated administration staff, Clinical QA and the Clinical Pre-Archive within the new facility. The building to accommodate a total of 230 staff. To provide an associated site cafe along with 4 flexible site meeting rooms. The new accommodation should provide a high standard of layout facilities and finishes in order to attract and retain a high calibre of staff.

In addition The Austin Company had to provide opportunities, communication and functionality for improved productivity and efficiencies between the various Clinical work teams. The facility should be flexible enough to accommodate change with minimal physical modifications. The new building should ultimately form the ‘gateway’ to the Charnwood site when the phase 2 extension is complete. It should also integrate visually and operationally within the site as a whole.

After many massing options were considered the final design was developed to include three levels of office space, 3rd floor plant rooms and a central atrium. Total area of the building is 4,375m²., located within newly acquired land adjacent to the client’s existing establishment at Charnwood.

The optimum 42 person floor plates flank a central atrium. An internal circulation route was designated around the atrium perimeter to avoid through traffic within the floor plates. A central lift and staircase provide good vertical circulation and at the end of each floor plate protected stairs and atrium bridges ensure adequate means of escape in the event of emergencies.

Close team working with the client user representatives created a positive approach to the design which allowed ongoing changes to user requirements to be included throughout the duration of the works.

Utilising the suspended floor system for both power/data distribution and as a plenum for the low level fresh air supply has created a totally flexible floor layout.

The extensive use of chilled beams within the ceiling voids has achieved a very quiet, yet comfortable working environment.

  • architecture
  • mechanical
  • electrical
  • structural
  • public health
  • construction
  • management