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Plans Revealed for Landmark R&D Facility

Southampton Science Park has announced details of its plan for a multi-million pound high profile landmark development which will provide much-needed laboratory space in the south of England, in line with Britain’s ambitions to become a global life science powerhouse. 

Subject to the granting of planning permission, a stunning, high quality 3,400m² research and development facility will be built, ready for occupation as early as 2026. 

It will be named The Curve. 

Envisaged by award winning architects, Scott Brownrigg, The Curve embodies the synergy of form and function. It’s striking and engaging flowing architectural lines will create an impressive entrance to the Science Park. Going beyond aesthetics, this revolutionary design symbolises fluidity, dynamism, and forward-thinking, representing the seamless flow of ideas and collaboration that will take place within it. 

From the outside, The Curve’s position and scale have been designed to respect key views, and a green roof will enhance biodiversity, improve air quality, and provide an exciting outdoor environment expressing the connection between science and nature. Trees, hedgerows, ornamental shrubs and wildflowers will soften its appearance and integrate it into the wider campus setting of the Science Park. 

The Curve employs passive design principles. The use of sustainable building materials with low environmental impact, high-performance glazing, advanced insulation, renewable energy generation through rooftop photovoltaic panels and ultra-efficient heating, ventilation, air conditioning and water systems will all contribute to the building's low carbon footprint and achieve a 10% Biodiversity Net Gain.

Inside, The Curve’s ingenious design offers technical advantages. Space is cleverly optimised, allowing tenants to create flexible layouts to suit their specific requirements, while the outstanding level of natural light will provide a healthy, productive working environment. 

Science Park CEO, Robin Chave, said, “It is a great pleasure to reveal our plans for The Curve, which will set a new standard in the provision of research and development environments here on the south coast. 

This development is the first phase in delivering Southampton Science Park’s 25 year masterplan. This plan aims to ensure that our region of innovators and entrepreneurs have the means to build thriving commercial enterprises that will retain our position as one of the UK’s STEM powerhouses. We anticipate that The Curve will generate significant and widespread economic benefits and send a firm positive statement of business investment confidence in the area.”

It has been widely reported that the UK needs to rapidly expand the amount of laboratory space available to research firms if the UK doesn’t want to risk losing out on its science superpower status. According to a recent study from British Land and Savills, there is a severe shortage of real estate space available to accommodate both current and predicted demand. This report also suggests that if the UK life sciences market matched growth seen in the US, it would generate 67,000 more jobs and lead to a £4bn economic boost by 2035. 

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