Design & Display Structures continues to break the boundaries of design. It provided Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT) – a body dedicated to developing pioneering medicines – with three individually suspended GRP conference pods at its new facilities in Granta Park, Cambridge, solving the centre’s space shortage in a unique, stunning manner.
CAT’s 92,000 m2 Aaron Klug building underwent an extensive overhaul to transform its dull state into vibrant laboratory and office premises. As part of this, the project designer, Chapman Carvill Design, wanted to put the centre’s three atriums to their full potential with a suspended pod concept that provided both meeting space and a unique focal feature.
With the concept created, Design & Display Structures’ highly skilled personnel were needed to work closely with designers, Chapman Carvill Design, to turn the idea into a reality, using an advanced 3D modelling program, VectorWorks.
The model was to incorporate two pods situated in the building’s central atrium to create a sense of centralisation. A separate pod was positioned in the third atrium, giving each atrium an individual character.
The pods, 4.6m in diameter, comprised a cylindrical shape with a domed top and bottom. Shaped glazing was installed into each pod at a sloping angle, allowing a spectacular view from within it. Each pod was shell wrapped around a metal frame cable suspended from the existing building structure, with a bridge connecting the two central pods.
An impressive feature of the pod is the sliding door. Formed to the same radius as the pods themselves, Design & Display Structures perfected the vision with a GRP solution that slides along stainless steel runners to make the structures really stand out. This pioneering design feat allows up to six people to occupy the pod at a time.
Whilst not in use, the pods act as a major visual feature for the centre that compliments the innovative research taking place within it.
Design & Display Structures’ unique combination of heightened design skills and mastery of GRP manufacture meant that the designers saw their vision become reality, without compromising the image.
The lightweight, yet highly durable nature of GRP made it the ideal material for the pod’s cladding. With the company’s experience in creating practical and stunning designs, it was possible to deliver eye catching, yet highly functional features.