Da Vinci Building
Project by Michael Aukett Architects
Da Vinci building is a new research and headquarters building for TTPCOM, a mobile phone software developer and one of the spin-off companies of the TTP Group. The building is located within Melbourn Science Park, a science park set within the village of Melbourn, south of Cambridge. Formerly owned by The Technology Partnership (TTP) was recently acquired by Bruntwood SciTech, with an aim to turn it into a life science research park.
Set in a mature parkland, the 43,000 SF two storey building provided highly flexible and adaptable open plan space, with cores at each end of the elegant rectangular plan. A double height glazed ‘street’ containing reception, touch down and breakout spaces, runs the full length the building facing the park and overlooks a new lake that is constructed to allow the building to appear to ‘float’ on the water and to enhance the biodiversity of the site.
A dramatic visual feature of the building are two full height glass screens situated at each end of the street in front of the cores designed by graphic designer John Brockliss. To reflect the original use of the building they depict both aspects of communications, scientists, pioneers, and discoveries, and when viewed from a distance coalesce to create the portraits of Guglielmo Marconi inventor of the wireless telegraph and Sir Tim-Berners Lee inventor of the World Wide Web facing each other and representing the two major inventors of communications technology.
The building links to the original manor house which was converted into a restaurant and gym for the park and its formal gardens were restored. The building has stood the test of time, and its inherent flexibility to adapt is highlighted by the fact that the building tenant has changed successfully from a electronics software user to now AstraZeneca, a pharmaceutical user. Although now 20 years old the building still looks elegant, contemporary, and timeless.