Sainsbury Wellcome Centre is a neuroscience research institute for University College London, Gatsby Charitable Foundation and Wellcome Trust. The challenge for the design team was delivery of a 14,000 m² state-of-the-art, adaptable and collaborative research environment with a minimum life-span of sixty years, capable of attracting the world’s best science research teams.
The design of the building is focused on the science, support, social spaces, spatial legibility and adaptability. Low/no maintenance materials and access to services is key.
A duplex coating (galvanizing plus paint) appears in two forms, simple painted galvanizing for visual consistency and galvanizing with an intumescent coating for some external steelwork.
The duplex coatings complement the cast glass external envelope, the hard and soft landscape, and also provide a consistent palette of finishes across the project.
External white painted components are all galvanized. These are visible in the ground level south courtyard – railings to rooflights and balustrades, and on the level 5 terrace – railings to rooflights and the undulating balustrade to the level 5 planting box.
Elements of the south façade support parts of the building enclosure or plant floors. In a number of locations, the galvanized finish is supplemented by an intumescent coating combined with a paint finish. This system provides strong durable protection to the steelwork, structural fire protection and visual finish.
Images © Grant Smith, Ian Ritchie Architects Ltd.