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Central Research Laboratory, Preston Barracks

Client Name: U + I

Role: Cost Manager



The Central Research Laboratory (CRL) lies at the heart of Studio Egret West’s Preston Barracks masterplan, which will transform a Georgian army barracks site into new homes and a rejuvenated university campus.

The CRL aims to help cement Brighton’s position as one of the best places in the world to be an entrepreneur and an inventor, providing a diverse workspace for a wide range of creative businesses, all with access to a shared prototyping lab.

With Brighton University’s new Business School also within the master plan, the CRL provides the first step for new businesses to grow. Designed to be flexible and reactive to changes in the market, the floor plates are split into two halves, creating an atrium in the centre in which a staircase climbs haphazardly upwards towards a rooftop garden.

This arrangement encourages people to circulate through the spaces, promoting engagement with other businesses and maximising opportunities for interaction. The ground level is activated by a public café, seating spaces and event space.