Plymouth Marine Laboratory

Plymouth Marine Laboratory

Complex refurbishment and extension
This project was a complex refurbishment and extension of a five-storey 1970s concrete frame marine research building, fully occupied throughout works. PML has been a world leader in marine research for over 40 years. In 2016 Mitchell Architects were approached to facilitate an extensive refurbishment and interior design of their HQ, overlooking Plymouth Sound. Aside extensive internal alterations were contemporary extensions to the ground floor. The works included a considerable investment in improving M&E energy efficiency and detailed treatment of the external fabric of the building which took account of widespread historic use of asbestos. Extensive consultation with the client enabled Mitchell Architects to develop a programme with the Design Team which enabled the building to remain fully occupied and fully operational throughout the 18 month build. Mitchell Architects acted as lead consultant from conception to completion. A fully collaborative approach was adopted utilising the latest software and technologies. A point cloud survey was utilised for a millimeter precision understanding of the existing building and how the proposed works were to interract.

Plymouth Marine Laboratory - lab
Plymouth Marine Laboratory - workshop
Plymouth Marine Laboratory - staff room

An understanding of the variety of sciences and professions practiced in the building was required to enable the design of specialist laboratories which ranged
from thermally and acoustically isolated constant temperature rooms, to precision engineering labs and ocean going vessel wash-down areas. A comprehensive set of company and staff facilities were also included, with portions of interior design provided by Mitchell Architects. Extensive consultation was held with the building users and a strong working relationship was had with both client and fellow consultants. This resulted in a highly successful refurbishment of a very complex building with an equally challenging brief. It has garnered enthusiastic responses from occupants, whilst feedback from the public funder, NERC was ‘effusively positive, commenting on the extent and quality of the work along with the excellent value for money’.

“Mitchell Architects have been exemplary in providing this
service which is meeting our high standards, meeting our
budget and time frames.”
Prof. J. Icarus Allen, Director of Science and Deputy Chief Executive, PML

Plymouth Marine Laboratory - reception