The Roslin Institute Building at the University of Edinburgh

The Roslin Institute Building at the University of Edinburgh

The Roslin Institute Building at the University of Edinburgh

A Consortium of Institutes

The Roslin Institute’s vision is to create a consortium of institutes, all rich in history, to provide world class research in basic mechanisms of human health, genetic factors, food safety and emerging health factors in humans and animals. The Roslin Institute was the site of the original cloning of Dolly the Sheep in 1996. The research goals for the new facility are to conserve genetic diversity, control animal diseases, develop new diagnostics and therapeutics for humans and animals, and to improve food quality and safety. The biggest single challenge for the project was breaking down the silos between institutions and laboratory groups who were used to individual territories within individual buildings.

Key features of the design include:

  • A double-height glass atrium connects DNA-inspired, curvilinear “strands” (one housing labs and a parallel one housing offices). The atrium serves as the primary circulation space while also accommodating other activities such as formal and informal gathering and solitary work.  It is illuminated by four colorful light-wells that contain open stairs leading to the café, which is located on the ground floor.
  • Various informal and formal meeting areas flank the light-wells, providing comfortable meeting space for interaction among researchers from various disciplines.
  • Brightly colored fins, representing genetic markers, run through the center of the building, creating connection points and branding opportunities.
  • The office “strand” is clad in a glass skin of colored opaque and translucent panels and operable windows, with views into the atrium and laboratories behind.
  • Generously proportioned open labs and offices allow for densely concentrated researchers to work comfortably and collaboratively.
  • The glass façade and arcade along the campus green welcome students, faculty and visitors to the café and provide views into the offices on the upper floors.
The Roslin Institute Building at the University of Edinburgh
Easter Bush Research Consortium

Midlothian, Scotland,
United Kingdom

152,000 SF (14,120 m²)


S-Lab Awards, Highly Commended (2012)
New Building: Research Category
Merit Award (2012)
Built Category
American Institute of Architects, New Jersey Chapter