What we do
Combining our three core specialisms with cross sector experience from a world-class team, we transform businesses through the built environment and enhance the way people work.
This global biotechnology company committed to developing vaccines and biologic therapies were looking to put their own stamp on a laboratory and workspace in Granta Park in Cambridge.
The company’s vision is to empower humanity with a healthier future through transformative science. It only seemed fitting that their workplace became a place of empowerment too.
As their first laboratory in the UK, the team wanted to build a presence in Cambridge to enhance their scientific brand in the UK, while attracting top talent to advance their research. The objective was to design a molecular laboratory and enhance the buildings mechanical electrical and plumbing infrastructure. This was in order to meet specific design requirements and performance criteria within each room, as well as regulatory compliance.
At the outset of the project, we conducted a detail lab planning review with the team to ensure the lab design team fully understood the process aligns with a specific design criteria and contamination risks. This stage of the project is led by the scientists with the support of our lab design team to guide on opportunities and constraints within the existing building.
During this stage we also put together detailed room data sheets which identified the lab equipment and specification to be installed in each room as well as any other specific design and performance criteria. This meant there was constant close communication and collaboration between the scientists, lab users and the AIS design team, enabling us to get a fully detailed insight into the workflows of the team and ensure our design solution worked in response to enhance the way they work.
Whilst keeping in line with laboratory specifications, the overarching design concept for the space was a bright, clean and functional aesthetic that needed to incorporate new mechanical infrastructure and be adaptable for their team. The space needed to portray their brand values for both current and future employees.
In order to support the teams sustainability values and standards they wanted to re-use as much of the existing laboratories infrastructure. By re-using doors and keeping as much of the existing layout as possible we were able to use less resources, create less waste and make the design and fit out process a much more sustainable one. Re-used elements were thoughtfully integrated by our design team to ensure they seamlessly integrated into the vernacular of the final design outcome.
We reviewed the main workspace areas which included an open plan seating area, 3 single offices, a meeting rooms , as well as a breakout area. Configuring these spaces in accordance with team adjacencies, to create a more efficient and seamless workplace experience.
In the lab spaces we incorporated modular lab furniture systems that support flexibility and give the team adaptability to change configurations as their processes change. This bespoke designed reconfigurable laboratory benching and furniture will make the space easier to use for a range of tasks and even has the ability to be disassembled with ease and moved to new facilities when required.
As an international business the fit-out needed the latest video conferencing and AV integration to enable connectivity to other teams working around the globe. A large AV screen situated in the main working area allows staff to come together to join in international video calls and presentations.
We wanted to ensure that the workspace areas and the laboratory space were connected whilst remaining physically separate. Glazing between the spaces allowed visibility of what was happening in each space. This enables operational staff to feel more connected to the scientific team, creating a more collective sense between the entire staff and a more connected space, as well as allowing natural light to sweep through the whole space.
AIS Life Sciences recently completed our laboratory and office fit out in South Cambridgeshire. Working with the team at AIS Life Sciences was a pleasure, their planning and design expertise helped us refine our design and their technical guidance ensured we implemented a mechanical solution in line with our operational requirements and budget, as well as ensuring we maximised the use and functionality of the space.
The turnkey solution offered by AIS Life Sciences from design concept to delivery (including laboratory furniture) ensured we could focus on the operational planning, whilst the build was managed under one point of contact.
The delivery team kept us informed at every stage of the build and the project was completed according to the expected timelines, despite some uncertainties around lead times of items critical to the mechanical solution. I would highly recommend AIS Life Sciences.
Director, Head of Research and Operations