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OVERVIEW

Aurora Innovation Centre

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) delivers and enables world-leading interdisciplinary research in the Polar Regions, so that scientists can advance their understanding of Earth and our impact on it.

The Aurora Centre has been enabled by a joint venture between British Antarctic Survey, NERC and Cambridge University. ADP’s brief was to create a space for scientific research and entrepreneurial collaborations to enable breakthroughs in the areas of climate change, environmental stewardship and technologies for challenging environments.

Working with multi-client stakeholder groups, we consolidated a number of facilities across the BAS estate into a suite of collaboration and conference spaces. These are made more visible by the new entrance, which provides a striking public face to the building.

The Aurora centre is now a hive of activity, with a variety of spaces that link stakeholders to BAS expertise. Glass cladding inspired by the angular forms of sheet ice and the hexagonal forms of ice crystals, wraps around the new entrance which has transformed the arrival sequence, turning the reception area into an exhibition space. This leads to the meet and mingle area on the first floor, which connects collaboration space, meeting rooms and conference facilities. The ice breaker café has been refurbished and provides a place for scientists from different disciplines to come together and share ideas. Flexible furniture has been used to provide a variety of settings.

Colours used in the interior have been influenced by the whites and greys of the Polar landscape, with accent colours of soft furniture inspired by BAS ships and protective clothing. The use of polar imagery clearly announces BAS’s purpose and vision.

Outside a Gingko leaf has informed the shape of the landscaping, which together with a fossil fernery makes reference to prehistoric Antarctica. ‘Glacial’ planting reflects Antarctica today, with Fenland grasses that are native to the local area.

A series of small interventions has made a big difference. The result is a building that brings people together in one space, working together to tackle the challenges of climate change.

'Our aim is to unlock the full potential of BAS polar expertise and assets, to deliver socio-economic benefit. The Aurora Innovation Centre will contribute to NERC’s vision of enabling the UK to deliver innovation and growth with responsible environmental management, and capitalise on Cambridge as a global centre for innovation.'

Professor Duncan Wingham, NERC Chief Executive


PROJECT CONTACTS:

STUDIO DIRECTOR:

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR:



DETAILS

CLIENT:

British Antarctic Survey, NERC, University of Cambridge

LOCATION:

Cambridge

STUDIO:

London

TYPE:

New Build
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VALUE:

£6m

SERVICES:

STATUS:

Complete

AWARDS:

To see ADP's awards list, please click here.