The redevelopment of the Existing Operations Building at Colworth Science Park will provide work and laboratory spaces for food technology start-up companies at the Colworth Science Park. The proposal is a refurbishment and extension of the Science Park’s now vacant former Operations Building and will integrate several existing structures into the proposal.
The existing Operations Building, a mismatched collection of adjoining structures, has been added to and changed several times over the years. These buildings are currently connected to the adjacent Grade II* listed Colworth House by an unsympathetic Annexe. The proposal is to demolish the Annexe link building, restore the south façade of Colworth House, and landscape the area to allow the Grade II* listed building to sit independently in a parkland landscape once again.
The resultant form therefore is two separate buildings – one historic and one contemporary – independent of one another, but both facing on to the central green landscape that is the heart and focus of the Colworth Science Park campus and masterplan.
On the Operations Building site, the proposal is to retain as much of the existing steel structure and concrete slab as is practically possible and for this to be integrated into the structure of the new building.
The building aims to be an exemplary example of sustainable construction. Most of the existing structure of the Operations Building will be reused, daylighting will be optimised, and the building will have an enhanced, well-insulated thermal envelope. Proposed façade materials will be efficient and sustainable, whilst sympathetic to the historic setting. The design proposal is based on a modular timber façade with a stone or brick base and standing seam pitched metal roof.
At the centre of the scheme is an open plan space set within the shell of the existing steel “shed” structure, measuring approx. 70m (l) x 14m (w). This space is the heart of the facility and provides breakout space, open plan workspaces, networking space as well as a central stepped area that can be used for presentations/demos/displays, a café and a shop. Wrapped around this central space are individual lettable units in a range of sizes to accommodate different types of enterprises and different functions. The units can be arranged as research lab spaces, test kitchens, office or write-up spaces as required. Some of these units are fit-out within existing retained structure (especially to the south and east), whilst some are new build areas (especially to the north and west).
The main entrance of the building is to the north, where the building curves out to face onto the green which sits at the centre of the masterplan for the Colworth Science Park.
The overall proposed GEA is less than that of the existing buildings (please refer to section 8: Area Schedule)