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-17 Apr. 2024

Willmott Dixon Interiors delivers £18.8m biomedical research hub in Oxford

Leading fit-out and refurbishment specialist contractor, Willmott Dixon Interiors, has completed the first commercial science scheme in Oxford’s central science district.

The contractor has handed over 65,000 sq ft of CAT A laboratory, office and collaboration space at the Inventa building, Botley Road on behalf of Mission Street and BGO.

The £18.8 million redevelopment saw the extension and refurbishment of two vacant former retail warehouse assets, to create a single, two-storey building, providing world-class facilities for biomedical research and development firms.

Willmott Dixon Interiors has substantially upgraded the building’s fabric and façade, as well as installing new mechanical and electrical services.

The project has enabled the creation of a new reception welcome area, enhanced common and meeting rooms, new collaboration and breakout spaces, café and end of journey facilities.


Above: Internal space featuring the staircase


Externally a cycle and pedestrian route and a newly landscaped car park deliver a revitalised visitor experience, with landscaping at the rear of the building doubling as an area for flood mitigation.

Sustainability was a key element of the scheme, with existing materials reused wherever possible. The majority of the building’s original steelwork and cladding has been retained, together with the original roof structure which was overlaid with a new metal roof system.

In addition, Willmott Dixon Interiors and its supply chain partnered with International Tree Foundation to plant nearly 1,000 trees at the Blue Cross in Burford, as well as repurposing used pallets and timber into onsite planters and composters.

Partnerships with local schools saw more than 1,000 students given the opportunity to learn more about a future career in construction, while items of food were collected and donated to the nearby Oxford Community Emergency Foodbank.

Roger Forsdyke, chief operating officer at Willmott Dixon Interiors, said: “We are proud to have delivered the first building in Oxford’s central science district. The Inventa building is a transformative project that provides outstanding facilities for future occupiers. It is ideally positioned to support the growth of biomedical research and development in the region, and provide access to wider talent pools.”

Colin Brown, development director at Mission Street, said: “Inventa delivers some of Oxford’s highest quality lab and office space for science and innovation companies at all stages of growth, in a first for the city’s West End. This includes the highly sustainable re-use of the bulk of the original structure and slab, complemented by strategic extensions to provide best-in-class arrival areas, plant space and bespoke back-of-house facilities. Inspired by the industrial heritage of the previous site uses, Inventa’s extensive meeting areas, amenities and network of high streets and squares seek to foster a culture of collaboration among Oxford’s scientific industries, while significant improvements to pedestrian/cycle connections and the public realm benefit the local community.”

The project team included Owers Warwick Architects (Cambridge), Abakus Consulting, Buro Four Project Services and Hilson Moran Partnership.



















Above: External of the completed building

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