stanton williams: the sainsbury laboratory, university of cambridge
stanton williams: the sainsbury laboratory, university of cambridge stanton williams: the sainsbury laboratory, university of cambridge
aug 14, 2011

stanton williams: the sainsbury laboratory, university of cambridge

london based architectural practice stanton williams has completed ‘the sainsbury laboratory’ a plant science research center for the university of cambridge located in cambridge, united kingdom. sited within the campus botanic garden, the complex’s design hybrids the program’s scientific requirements with a structure that responds and unifies with the surrounding landscape. occupants within collaboration and testing areas may easily access the functional sector of the garden and herbarium in addition to the auditorium, meeting rooms, social spaces, ancillary areas for botanic garden staff and public cafe.

all images © hufton+crow



natural lighting in the lowest levels are controlled by submerging the spaces below grade, maintaining the building’s low profile appearance. horizontal bands of limestone and concrete within the facade simulate accumulated geological layers to evoke a symbolic permanence of the newly established facility. a continuous internal promenade, referred to as the ‘thinking path’ provides a scenic route ideal for reflection and simultaneously encourages unplanned encounters with peers. glazing on all sides allow unobstructed views of active laboratories and the garden, enhancing the contemplative nature of the space.

detail of limestone columns

central court with olive trees

main staircase and central court

internal path with staff dining

internal path and main stair at first floor level

laboratories from the internal path


study boxes

auditorium with artwork on display, artwork © susanna heron



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication.

  • Cool space for science!!!

    jTr says:
  • sinister like the film coma the scientists are like lost clones the trees sit like machine guns and the mystery secret is genetically modified mutagens genetically modified biology and genetically carcinogenic ideas.
    the mad scientists want us to buy unnatural food and they will force us and the world will end at the checkout

    amp says:

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