The Cambridgeshire economy is tailored towards life sciences, but there is a shortage of floorspace needed to match the demand and for sustainable growth. Furthermore, this demand also requires high-quality, wellbeing-led labs and workspaces too. Our exciting proposals aim to maximise the potential of this underutilised site, delivering these much-needed laboratories and workspaces in a building with leading sustainability credentials.
Breakthrough Properties is a life science real estate development company, formed in 2019, that delivers environments that foster innovation and scientific breakthroughs. Its mission is to acquire, develop, and operate the best life science properties in leading scientific and innovation centres around the world and support research and development.
Henning Larsen are a leading Danish architecture, landscape architecture, urbanism and interior graphic, and lighting design studio. Founded in 1959, their design philosophy is centred around light and nature, always looking to the lasting impact of communities and their environment.
Feilden+Mawson have established reputations for delivering buildings designed with skill and sensitivity, combined with the highest standards. Having been founded in 1956, they work with clients who value thoughtful design and see their relationships with their clients as vital to their success.
Sphere25 deliver development through insightful planning advice. Their experienced team advises on planning strategies, submissions, and negotiations to secure planning permission.
Velocity Transport Planning is a specialist transport planning consultancy serving both public and private sector property development clients. They recognise that the relationships they form with clients and co-professionals underpins the success they have had over the last 40 years.
Buro Happold are a world-class practice of engineers, consultants and advisers. Through integrated thinking and an interconnected community of passionate experts, they create transformative outcomes for their clients and communities alike. During their 45 years of experience, they have built an extraordinary reputation for delivering creative, value-led solutions for their clients.
Townshend Landscape Architects specialise in landscape architecture since 1988. They believe in quality of life and quality of built environment are intrinsically linked and seek to re-imagine public spaces that integrate with their surroundings and are at the centre of local communities
Kanda are specialists in working with community organisations, residents, and businesses to ensure they have the opportunity to provide meaningful feedback on development proposals. They will be facilitating all community and stakeholder consultation.
Thornton Tomasetti are structural engineers who apply scientific and engineering principles to solve the world’s challenges. Whether they’re focusing on the design, construction and performance of buildings or expanding into new disciplines, they never limit themselves, applying their expertise to all types of projects across a range of industries.
The current building is failing to maximise its potential and meet the wellbeing-led needs of modern office tenants. It does not have the facilities and high-quality lab spaces that are needed in the area.
Cambridgeshire economy is tailored towards life sciences, but there is a shortage of floorspace needed for sustained growth. There is high demand for high quality laboratory space locally. Our exciting proposals aim to maximise the potential of this underutilised site, delivering high quality, wellbeing-led labs, and workspaces in a building with leading sustainability credentials.
The site is located within NECAAP, which is a policy included in the Greater Cambridge emerging Local Plan. The NECAAP area includes 182 hectares of brownfield land in north Cambridge. The policy outlines how the area will be transformed into a new city district. Our vision has been shaped by the key NECAAP priorities:
The St John’s masterplan includes a range of office and R&D buildings, as well as a transport hub and new landscaping. We have carefully developed our design for the Vitrum Building to complement the future local context.
The Vitrum Building will be a modern and flexible workplace with a lively and inclusive community. We will deliver innovative laboratories and workspaces, with sustainable architecture that blends together with its green surroundings and promotes biodiversity.
New skilled jobs – The creation of well paid, skilled jobs within the local community.
Promoting educational opportunities by committing to a minimum number of apprenticeships and engaging with the local schools and institutions.
Engagement with the local community regarding educational sessions and workshops for local schools and colleges at the site.
Improved cycling and pedestrian routes around the site, as well as publicly accessible landscaped areas.
Development contributions will be made to help support and fund Local Authority infrastructure projects.
Addressing the shortage of research and development floorspace in the local area.
Increased business rates (payable to the local authority) due to the redevelopment of the site being more financially viable.
Strengthening the research and development cluster with access to neighbouring science parks & facilities.
Recycling parts of the existing structure on the site
Delivering a low carbon lifecycle design, aiming for Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) Excellent
Reducing embodied carbon and limiting the environmental impact of the proposals is at the forefront of the design process
The design will promote healthy and active lifestyle (we are targeting Well Core certification of Gold)
Built-in climate resilience through passive design, reduced water consumption, mitigating flood risk, and reducing the urban heat island effect (occurs when natural surfaces are replaced with pavements and buildings)
Providing biodiverse green infrastructure in and around the building to provide a haven floor local flora and fauna
Green roofs and terraces will deliver a Biodiversity Net Gain
Promotion of active travel and healthy living, with new cycle spaces
Providing electric vehicle spaces
Areas for dockless bikes and e-scooters
No increase in car parking spaces compared to existing levels
Incentivising active travel through ambitious Travel Plan targets
A key element in the design of the building’s spaces has been innovation. We are proposing workspaces with innovative layouts and increased connections between flexible labs and write-up areas. We also aim to increase opportunities for interaction between people and teams, to share knowledge and experiences. There will be a range of shared indoor and outdoor spaces, including access to nature as a workplace.
We hosted our public consultation from November-December 2022 in-person and on this website. The consultation window has now been closed since 18th December 2022.
Thank you for all of the feedback we have received. If you would still like to provide your feedback, please visit the ‘contact us’ section on this website where you will find the dedicated email address for this scheme.
Start of pre-application process with Cambridge City Council
Engagement with key local and community stakeholders
Planning Application submitted
Determination of planning application
Construction begins on site
If you have any questions about the proposals, or would like to speak to a member of the team, please do not hesitate to get in touch using the contact details below or by filling in the contact form.
Phone Number: 020 3900 3676
All information you give us will be stored safely, treated confidentially, and only used in connection with this project. However, these details are not required, should you wish not to provide them.