University of Cambridge



Client: University of Cambridge

Architects: Fairhurst Design Group

Main Contractor: Kier Major Projects

Project Value: £83m

Open date: Q2 2018

This latest addition in the continuing development of the prestigious Cambridge Biomedical Campus is a joint funding collaboration between Wellcome and The Medical Research Council, located next to the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute and just west of the Addenbrookes Hospital. The six-storey laboratory building, due for completion in the second quarter of 2018, will provide 190,000 sq ft of high specification research facility. The project was fast-tracked from design to site start in just 12 months.

The building, which is aiming for a BREEAM Excellent rating, will be occupied by three Cambridge Biomedical Institutions - The Cambridge Stem Cell Institute (CSCI), Cambridge Institute of Therapeutic Immunology & Infectious Disease (CITIID), Cambridge Centre for Haematopoiesis and Haematological Malignancies (CCHHM) and Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) Cell Therapies Centre.

This will allow all CSCI research groups, currently dispersed in separate locations across the City, to work together in one place and will result in a fully integrated, vibrant and cohesive stem cell community, within a purpose-built new building, ideally placed to capitalise on its unique intellectual and clinical environment.

To accommodate the research that each of the above institutions will perform, specialist laboratories have been constructed to maximise available space and provide a flexible and modular approach to the operation of the facility.

The building has been divided into five distinct functional areas:


Bio-safety Level 2 laboratory space for general laboratory operations which is modular and reconfigurable. Additional Bio-safety Level 3 space will provide a research area primarily used by the CITIID group in the study of infectious diseases.


These provide sufficient desk space with IT support to permit the write up of experiments and studies performed in the laboratories. The write up areas will be located adjacent to each laboratory.


Bioinformatics hubs will be supplied at suitable locations to support the computational biology needs for each institute.


There are several shared facilities which will be installed in areas adjacent to the wet laboratory areas. These include: Tissue Culture rooms; Gel rooms; Prep and Equipment rooms; Cold room; Freezer room and Lab imaging areas.


A facility compliant with current GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) guidelines, as described by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will be included within the building.

Shak Chowdhury, Kier project lead, said:

“Project Capella is a great example of how lean construction techniques can be used in the development of a project to get it from the drawing board and into construction in the shortest timeframe.

The University is one of our longest-standing clients, having first worked together in 1996.

Collaboration has always been key to the long-term success of this relationship, and once again it’s this teamwork by all involved that has formed the successful foundations for Project Capella, our 23rd scheme together.

This open and transparent approach has enabled an £79m complex research facility to progress from having no design to being on site in just 12 months.

The wider development team includes Arup as consulting engineers, Arcadis as project managers and Aecom as cost consultants.”

CCTech are Providing

Design support for the CL3 and GMP elements of the project in the early stages with the development of the URS. With the GMP and CL3 elements we are moving to Validation and Regulatory Compliance, Burn-in and Soft Landings as the project progresses.

Explore Our Broad Range of Expertise