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The Discovery Centre for Translational & Interdisciplinary Research

Project Discription

The CTIR forms BMJ Architects’ latest addition to the College of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee, providing four storeys of laboratories, associated office and meeting spaces, state-of-the art Drug Discovery high throughput screening laboratory and Quantitative Proteomics laboratory which are some of the largest and best equipped facilities of their type in the world, forming the primary interface between research and industry actively encouraged by the University.

An Atrium ‘the street’ at the heart of the complex, meets the University’s aspirations ‘to enable innovation by breaking down barriers between scientific disciplines’ through formal, informal and ad hoc interactions, the networking centre, café, a 50-seat seminar and breakout spaces.

The creation of a Life Space Gallery in the CTIR, a new research-driven gallery space to engage artists and scientists in exciting new collaborations and foster long-term cross-disciplinary activity provides these communities and the public with greater insight into the broad spectrum of life sciences research.

The facade incorporates artwork, entitled ‘The Scales of Life’ depicting the four scales of Life: Molecular, Organellar, Cellular and Tissue, reflecting the significant research into life science undertaken within the facility.

A planning requirement for the design to achieve a Civic standard was set from the outset as this would set the benchmark for all other projects on this newly developing campus, the achievement of this is illustrated in the buildings Dundee Civic Trust and Glasgow Institute of Architects Awards.

The University’s desire was to create a flexible, high quality working environment bringing together a number of different user groups to encourage interaction and collaboration.

Wellcome Trust Bio-Centre wished to attract the highest caliber of students and researchers through its public and industry outreach and commitment to other academic institutions by the building was also required to create a new gateway to the campus.

BMJ Architects undertakes extensive research and development to ensure that current thinking on future research activities are captured in our design work. Consequently, our approach for CTIR maximises opportunities for collaboration offering functional space for a wide variety of potential uses by different disciplines and faculties in the pursuit of creating chance encounters and innovation. Facilities have been synergised to ensure maximum use, the new proteomics laboratory affords the ability to invite industry into the facility, using otherwise inaccessible equipment.


4,530 sqm


Dundee, UK

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