Foster + Partners Reveals Designs for EIT Oxford Campus
Architecture firm Foster + Partners recently unveiled the designs for Ellison Institute of Technology (EIT) campus, a research and development center for cancer and wellness, healthcare and global public health. EIT has broadened its mission to focus on four key areas of scientific and technological innovation: medical science and healthcare, food security and sustainable agriculture, clean energy and climate change, and government policy and economics.
For the new campus, Foster + Partners will incorporate over 30,000 square meters of research laboratory space, an oncology and wellness patient clinic. It will also have educational and meeting spaces to support EIT’s primary mission of solving four of humanity’s most challenging and enduring problems. The project is set to finish in 2026 which aims the sustainable development returns nature to the site and is targeting BREEAM Outstanding and WELL Platinum accreditation.
“Our design for Ellison Institute of Technology’s new Oxford campus creates a truly collaborative and nurturing environment, which will encourage research and breakthroughs. A primary objective of the project is to break down barriers between researchers, scientists, clinicians and patients, creating a human-centred and holistic approach to healthcare and technological innovation,” says Norman Foster, Founder and Executive Chairman, Foster + Partners.
Gerard Evenden, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners, adds: “The campus is spread over two plots, Littlemore House and Oxford Science Park, which are directly connected by a verdant treetop walkway. We are working closely with the landscape architect, Fernando Caruncho, to restore greenery across both plots and provide spaces which enhance wellbeing for patients and staff.”
Meanwhile, David Agus, Founding Director and CEO, EIT shares: “With the expansion of our interdisciplinary team of researchers, scientists, physicians and innovators across two continents, Ellison Institute of Technology is reaffirming our mission of improving human lives through innovation and collaboration.”
According to Foster + Partners, the facility’s location will enhance the EIT’s current partnership in the Oxford biotech and technology communities. It will also expand work and research collaborations with the University of Oxford. Ultimately, the new campus can help support the launch of the new Ellison Scholars program which aims to find and fund the next great global innovators.
The upcoming Oxford Campus is the second in a planned series of global connected research campuses for the institute.
In line with this project, the architecture firm explains that a number of existing buildings, including the historic Littlemore House, are being restored and connected to new pavilions along the eastern edge of the site. The new additions create a C-shaped configuration with a green courtyard at its heart. The courtyard is a landscaped outdoor area – with a circular water feature and seasonal planting – for patients, scientists, researchers and clinicians to enjoy together. Spaces between the buildings visually connect the courtyard with the surrounding streets, while sculptural fins on the façades of the new buildings provide shading, climate control and privacy.
The functional spaces are arranged in a nonlinear way, to encourage chance encounters and collaboration between disciplines. Littlemore House has been restored and transformed into a single volume space, containing a library and study area that can also be adapted for informal meetings and events. Flexible laboratories can be adapted easily to meet the Institute’s changing needs over time.
A sunken 250-seat auditorium, located beneath the courtyard, serves as a central meeting space for lectures and large-scale events. Light filters through the water feature above and dances on the walls of the auditorium.
Oxford Science Park
A new building with additional laboratories and educational spaces is located on the Oxford Science Park plot, one of Europe’s leading science parks. The building is lifted up on stilts – due to the adjacent Littlemore Brook, allowing landscaping and fresh air to flow directly underneath it. A wooden geodesic dome, with rotating solar shading, provides another striking forum for events, lectures, and collaborative endeavors at the top of the building.
The Ellison Institute of Technology’s visionary Oxford campus stands poised to revolutionize scientific research and innovation. The thoughtful restoration of Littlemore House and integration of green spaces exemplify a harmonious balance between heritage and modernity. As this remarkable project takes shape, it heralds a new era of collaboration and breakthroughs, reaffirming EIT’s mission to enhance human lives through pioneering research and interdisciplinary partnerships.
Photos Courtesy of Foster + Partners