Cutting-edge campus design

  • One of Europe’s largest centres for biomedical research
  • Part of a long-term masterplan to expand Oxford’s Old Road campus
  • Designed to improve cross-departmental communication

The design of this building was inspired by its site. This led to an innovative internal layout that delivers a delightfully spacious open-plan laboratory and write-up spaces bathed in natural daylight.

Justin Nicholls
Lead project architect, Make

Project Details

Location Oxford, UK
Status Built 2013
Sectors Education and research,
Area 5,600m²/60,000ft²
Client University of Oxford

The NDM Building is a cutting-edge multi-disciplinary centre that links clinical research to medical application. The integrated facility operates at the front lines of drug discovery for heart disease, cancer and HIV, and sits adjacent to two other medical research facilities designed by Make. Together these form part of our long-term masterplan to extend and modernise the University of Oxford’s Old Road campus.

Our design crowns the lab with a tapering prow that reflects its prominent position at the head of the campus. Inside are spaces carefully crafted to create an intimate scale and establish a sense of ownership for the research groups that inhabit it. The building’s full height is immediately revealed on entry, creating a welcoming and legible internal arrangement, while a dramatic elm-clad staircase draws the eye, winding up through the four-storey atrium and unifying the floors both physically and visually.

This sense of connectivity has dramatically improved collaboration and communication among the buildings’ occupants, further facilitating pioneering research that will benefit the global community. It also won the building an Oxford Presentation Trust Award in 2014.