Contractor confirned for Cavendish Laboratory job

Bouygues has been confirmed as main contractor on a £250m deal to replace one of the most famous physics laboratories in the world.

The Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge University has produced 29 Nobel Prize winners. It is where JJ Thomson discovered the electron, where James Chadwick discovered the neutron, where Rutherford split the atom and where Crick and Watson first discovered the structure of DNA.

It will be replaced by Cavendish III, a 33,000sq m building designed by architect Jestico + Whiles and has been funded by the largest philanthropic donation ever made to UK science. The £85m gift came from the estate of sound pioneer Ray Dolby who got his PhD at Pembroke College in 1961. The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council also stumped up £75m.

The laboratory will be built on the site of the existing lab at the emerging West Cambridge research campus. The university wants this to be a globally significant research hub for the physical sciences in order to attract the best staff.

Key requirements of the brief are that it provides highly flexible and adaptable research and teaching space which will encourage collaboration between users.

It will need to accommodate 900 staff and 560 full time equivalent students including 15 research groups.

It was designed with CH2M, which was bought by Jacobs in December, acting as technical architects on the laboratories and specialist cleanroom areas. Bouygues was appointed under an £8.5m professional services contract it agreed last October and has since appointed NBBJ as executive architect.

Others working on the scheme include project manager Currie & Brown and QS Aecom. BDP is working on services including acoustics while Ramboll is civil and structural engineer with Hoare lee M&E engineer.

The deal for the university’s development arm, Lynxvale, is due open in 2022.

cavendish jestico

The scheme has been designed by Jestico + Whiles