Granta Park, Cambridge, UK

Project Sapphire

One of the key objectives of this striking new building was the delivery of an environment which promotes collaboration for its occupiers whilst retaining upmost flexibility and adjustability for the ever-evolving needs of an industry moving at fast pace

Project Details

  • Location UK
  • Type New build
  • Area 8,733m² 94,000ft²
  • Sector Life Sciences / Healthcare, Offices
  • Client BioMed Realty
  • Services Architecture
Long vista of south facade and brise soleil

It comprises 94,000sqft NIA of new office accommodation over three storeys with a dramatic top-lit central atrium space arranged at the heart of the floorplates.

The design is an embodiment of quality, simplicity and elegance, which allowed for rapid construction to meet the proposed occupation date.

It signifies a significant step change in design quality, providing visual intrigue and a dramatic backdrop to the established landscaped setting. It achieved a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating and was shortlisted for a 2018 BCO Regional Award.

The siting of the building is respectful to its surroundings whilst optimising the vistas to the cricket pitch – the focal point of the Park – and the mature central landscape.

Detail of brise soleil to south side
Concept sketch
Entrance and reception atrium

Upon arrival, one is welcomed by the dramatic double height reception, which leads seamlessly to a space washed with light through the atrium anchored by the feature staircase which connects all three floors.

The floorplates provide a combination of open-plan office space, cellular offices for senior management, meeting and conference rooms and ample break out and brainstorming areas. The workforce wellbeing is of paramount importance and is catered for through the provision of:

  • Staff restaurants at both ground and second floor levels
  • Fully equipped shower facilities and lockers at ground level
  • Numerous break-out / informal spaces
  • Ample outdoor space and a patio that provides direct access to the cricket pitch
  • Carefully designed façade to optimise solar gain whilst retaining visual connection with surroundings

An unusual feature of the building is the clear glazed facade to the secondary cores on the north elevation. Here, the glazed / solid panel rhythm of the cladding is maintained providing floods of daylight into the common area cores flanking the main reception entrance. The base-build layout includes unusually generous storey heights of 4.55m to allow for future laboratory servicing. This combined with the high proportion of clear glazing and the top-lit central atrium provides excellent natural daylight penetration throughout the large floorplates.

Upper level of central atrium
Upper level of central atrium


South and east facade junction
Facade study of brise soleil
North entrance facade
Double height entrance
Stairs rising through central atrium
Green wall to decked car parking
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