New life science facility in London’s Knowledge Quarter

The completion of MAYDE, located at 5-10 Brandon Road, marks a significant milestone in the development of a new life science facility within London’s bustling Knowledge Quarter, spearheaded by Kadans Science Partner (Kadans).

This development addresses the needs of London’s burgeoning innovation and research sector, featuring 114,000 square feet of high-spec laboratories, light industrial spaces, offices, and communal areas spread across five storeys. Notably, the facility offers a unique blend of GMP manufacturing capabilities, R&D, and office spaces all housed within the same building.

Designed by David Miller Architects and constructed by Morgan Sindall, HDR played a comprehensive role in the project, covering all stages from planning to on-site construction. HDR’s contributions included Civil and Structural Design and Geo-Environmental services, entailing the demolition of existing structures and the creation of a new building. This new facility boasts a double-height reception, mezzanine, barista bar, a single-level basement with plant space, cycle storage, and tenant amenities. Additionally, it features plant areas at the roof level and a double-height service yard for delivery vehicles.

A notable aspect of the design is the superstructure’s flexibility, which accommodates both laboratory and office layouts with a structural grid of 7.5 x 6m. HDR ensured that 60% of the floor area meets Vibration Criteria A (VC-A) performance, essential for workflows involving sensitive equipment. This design includes a reinforced concrete braced frame with a flat slab, optimising horizontal service distribution, minimising floor-to-floor heights, and enhancing clear floor-to-ceiling heights while mitigating noise transmission.

The MAYDE site presented complex challenges typical of dense urban environments. HDR meticulously developed enabling works and demolition designs, considering neighbouring buildings, infrastructure, and the natural environment. This included maintaining an operational substation, managing Thames Water infrastructure, addressing party walls with significant ground level differences, and protecting a tree under a Tree Protection Order. HDR also prepared a permanent works piling strategy and led detailed ground movement assessments to secure utility provider approvals.

Situated in the Knowledge Quarter, a consortium of over 106 internationally renowned cultural and scientific organisations, the local area boasts the British Library and University of the Arts London as founding members. Kadans is making a significant impact within the Knowledge Quarter with four new bespoke spaces, the first being MAYDE.

Andrew Dickenson, Divisional Director at HDR, said: “The completion of MAYDE, 5-10 Brandon Road marks a significant step in the growth of the pioneering Knowledge Quarter, supporting London’s burgeoning life sciences sector. This ambitious project presented unique challenges inherent to working within a constrained urban environment, allowing HDR to demonstrate its expertise in finding innovative solutions, integrating advanced design and construction techniques, whilst delivering high-specification projects that are both agile and future-proofed. We are excited to continue our collaboration with Kadans and to help shape the built environment dedicated to knowledge, life sciences and innovation in the 21st Century.”

The successful completion of MAYDE has led Kadans to entrust HDR with four additional developments. These projects include three neighbouring sites in London’s Knowledge Quarter: 4 Brandon Road, 18-20 Tileyard Road, and 22-23 Tileyard Road, as well as a site on Upper Brook Street in Manchester.