Work progresses on Ray Dolby Centre at the University of Cambridge

Currie & Brown is currently providing project management, NEC3 supervisor and principal designer services to the University of Cambridge on the Ray Dolby Centre, a major project to replace the central facility for the Department of Physics’ Cavendish Laboratory, supporting the world-leading research carried out by the university.

The £225 million, 33,000m² Ray Dolby Centre will house the Department of Physics’ research groups, its laboratories, office and support accommodation, along with ancillary services including a library and exhibition space. The building has been named the Ray Dolby Centre in recognition of a gift from the estate of sound pioneer Ray Dolby and will complete in late 2022.

The project has also received funding and support from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).  

Designed by Jestico + Whiles, Ramboll and Hoare Lea to RIBA Stage 3 the building will incorporate strict vibration and electromagnetic interference controls, as well as meeting stringent criteria for temperature and humidity control.

Alongside the new Physics Department, a £25 million, 4,500m2 Shared Facilities Hub is being constructed, providing teaching and meeting rooms, learning resource areas, catering outlets and offices, as well as outreach opportunities within the local community. This dynamic, highly flexible new student hub building is part of the university’s vision to transform its West Cambridge campus into a lively research campus.

The combined project aims to build BREEAM ‘Excellent’-rated buildings and use BIM Level II protocols, while following an NEC3 contract governance regime.

Bouygues UK is the appointed contractor for both buildings, and the architecture firms NBBJ and BDP form the design team, responsible for design from RIBA Stage 4.

Currie & Brown’s unmanned aerial vehicle service, Aero, has been providing monthly aerial videos detailing progress of the construction on site. This service has enabled Currie & Brown and the University of Cambridge to engage all stakeholders, which has become even more important since the majority of people are now having to work from home.   

Kilian Hall, drone pilot in Currie & Brown’s Exeter office, has been supporting the team with regular aerial surveys detailing the progression on site in Cambridge. His video below shows the site on 22 December 2020.

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