Old Road Campus Research Building

The Old Road Campus Research Building includes flexible laboratory, library, office and teaching spaces within a new 14,000m2 three-storey building with partial basement. The new building brings together a number of leading cancer research institutions and University of Oxford departments. Communal spaces designed to encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing face onto open internal atria courtyards.

A continuous ribbon-like concrete element articulates the two courtyard spaces and forms the balustrade to the perimeter of the space. This continues into the scissor stair which cantilevers at every level. The stair is column-free both at the springing point and the half landing. Self-compacting concrete was chosen to ensure a high-quality finish. The mix achieved good compaction within the complicated geometry of the formwork.

A reinforced concrete flat slab arrangement avoids down stand elements within the ceiling zone and allows for maximum flexibility for services. A particle accelerator for research into radiation therapy in the basement is contained within one metre thick Magnadense concrete walls and ceiling to shield against the adverse effects of radiation. A 6.6m square grid allows for optimum flexibility, providing two alternative laboratory furniture rotations as well as working efficiently for office space.

Completed 2008.

Project Information


University of Oxford



IBI Nightingale




Ian Fussell