Living Systems Institute, Exeter

Plantrooms are ingeniously located

Living Systems Institute, Exeter HawkinsBrown for University of Exeter.
Living Systems Institute, Exeter HawkinsBrown for University of Exeter. Credit: Jack Hobhouse

Hawkins\Brown for University of Exeter

Contract value: £33m

GIA: 7,500m²

The Living Systems Institute is a world-class facility. It was a complex brief of technically demanding laboratory spaces innovatively housed within a steeply sloping site adjacent to its host, Basil Spence’s Geoffrey Pope building. 

The new building creates a courtyard between the two at entrance level. Externally, architectural order is created by alternating solid and void. The array of windows is held by the erudite placing of ventilation stacks.

 
  • Living Systems Institute, Exeter HawkinsBrown for University of Exeter.
    Living Systems Institute, Exeter HawkinsBrown for University of Exeter. Credit: Jack Hobhouse
  • Living Systems Institute, Exeter HawkinsBrown for University of Exeter.
    Living Systems Institute, Exeter HawkinsBrown for University of Exeter. Credit: Jack Hobhouse
  • Living Systems Institute, Exeter HawkinsBrown for University of Exeter.
    Living Systems Institute, Exeter HawkinsBrown for University of Exeter. Credit: Jack Hobhouse
  • Living Systems Institute, Exeter HawkinsBrown for University of Exeter.
    Living Systems Institute, Exeter HawkinsBrown for University of Exeter. Credit: Jack Hobhouse
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The layout breaks down the activities of wet and dry research into separate building masses responding to function and site constraints. The building provides a variety of workspaces which encourage happenstance meetings. Plantrooms are ingeniously located above and below the spaces they serve. Floor to ceiling glazing has made this an outstandingly naturally lit building of its type. 

This building is a place of discoveries and will help the search for ways to halt disease and illness. 


See the other winners of the RIBA Regional Awards 2017 - South West & Wessex