Client: Major UK University
Services: Architecture, Interior Design

We were approached by a University to design a research facility within an existing operational building to support the arrival of a new £2 million MRI Scanner for the Centre for Neurosciences. The design also accommodated additional office space, some small support laboratories, a reception area and waiting room and a computer room. The project took a 3 phase approach:

 

Phase 1 – to create a new seminar room and computer suite on the 1st floor in order to re-house existing members of staff working within the building. This then freed up space on the ground floor to proceed with phases 2 and 3.

 

Phase 2 – to work alongside the specialist medical contractor, who was employed on a design and build basis to form the new MRI scanner facility.

 

Phase 3 – to redesign the ground floor layout of the existing building to accommodate the extra facilities mentioned above. Also to design the interior suitable for functionality within the laboratories whilst taking into account comfort when addressing the reception and waiting area.

 

This project had some interesting elements:

 

The scanner unit had to be craned into the laboratory once specially designed walls and details had been completed by the medical contractor, providing some good local PR for the university.

 

The scanner unit needed to accommodate a quench pipe, to extract the helium. This had special restrictions with regards to where it could be located.

 

The German made scanner had to be delivered on a Tuesday due to government regulations which restrict HGV’s access to Autobahns at weekends.

 

Challenges:
• Working with the specialist medical contractor to meet their needs and the university’s design brief
• Adhering to strict time schedules which required the work to proceed in overlapping phases
• Carefully designing the external plant arrangement to comply with planning and medical standards


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