New Biochemistry wins RIBA Award

The award ceremony

Robin Haddow, Chairman of RIBA South, presents Russell Brown with the award

On Wednesday 20th May 2009 the Royal Institute of British Architects held its regional awards (Southern Regional) ceremony in New Biochemistry. Professor David Sherratt spoke to the assembled architects, clients and design consultants to welcome them to the building and explain some of the science that traditionally took place in Biochemistry and the new work that can now be achieved.

Oliver Milton, Louisa Bowles, Russell Brown from Hawkins\Brown led tours round the building for visitors.

The presentation of the awards was given by Mike Tonkin of Tonkin Liu Ltd who summed up each winning building with a clear insight into the architectural merits of each. He said of New Biochemistry “that it was a fine example of a building evolving from a strong dialogue between the users and architects” and “a good environment to promote collaborative working.”

The department's entry in the South Region was:

The New Biochemistry Building

Scheme: New Biochemistry Department, University of Oxford

Architects: Hawkins\Brown Limited, London

Photographer: Tim Crocker

Scheme Description:

The New Biochemistry Building at the University of Oxford challenges preconceptions about how a research building should be designed. From the outset, the focus has been on encouraging interaction and collaboration between researchers and groups. Naturally lit, perimeter research spaces are linked by a science corridor. The write up spaces are located in the dynamic, naturally ventilated atrium. The façade design is a response to both the historic context and the desire to create an open and transparent building that maximises natural light. An ambitious arts programme has been incorporated into the design including works by Annie Catrell, Nicky Hirst, Peter Fraser and Tim Head.


The six winning buildings will now go forward to be considered for the RIBA Stirling Prize which is awarded to the architects of the Building that has made the greatest contribution to British architecture in the past year.

21 May 2009

Page Last Updated: 26/05/2009 by Jeremy Rowntree
© 2009 Department of Biochemistry