The Hub at Harwell

The heart of the Rosalind Franklin Institute will be the new hub building located at Harwell.

The 5300m2 hub building at Harwell will be a flagship new addition to the campus, with four storeys of world leading scientific capability, complementing existing facilities at Harwell and at the partner spokes. The hub will be the focal point for the Institute, and the heart of life sciences at Harwell Campus.

The world leading technology hosted at the hub is matched by the innovative design of the building itself – unique in its
experimental capabilities.

When open, the hub will house all core and support staff for the Institute, plus 150 researchers from industry and academia. Construction on the hub starts in Spring 2019, with completion expected in 2020.

Designed and specified by leading researchers to deliver a world class laboratory space, the Institute will be home to groups of researchers from spoke universities, collaborators and colleagues from industry.


Artists impression of the Rosalind Franklin Institute. Courtesy of IBI.
A bird's eye view of the building


First  – Correlated imaging and mass spectrometry labs, including the world’s most stable space for electron microscopy. In these labs, we will deliver and test innovations in electron microscopy, and deliver the world’s first pulsed source TEM for life science.

Second – Social and write up spaces – built to encourage networking, this space will become a hub at Harwell for researchers from across campus to meet and collaborate.

Third – Structural biology and Next Generation Chemistry for Medicine laboratories.

Fourth – Next Generation Chemistry and Imaging with Sound and Light laboratories.

  • Construction milestones
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020


Planning for the building layout commenced, with Mace appointed as principal contractors.

Construction design and delivery is project managed by UKRI-STFC.

Designed for success

Building design progresses, with RIBA stage 4 signed off towards the close of the year. Demolition on the site of the new Institute commences.

Construction commences

Ground breaking for the £40m building will take place in the early part of 2019, with construction continuing for the rest of the year.

Projects in the themes will continue to develop at spoke institutes, creating, alongside other outputs, the technologies which will occupy the building.

Completion and occupation

We hope to complete the construction and fit out of the building in late 2020, with the Institute open and operating shortly afterwards. When fully occupied, the building will house 200 staff, including 50 from the Institute core team.