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July 28, 2015

Work begins on £35m aircraft design centre at Cranfield University, UK

An old office block in central Liverpool is to be converted into a £17m boutique hotel by architecture firm Purcell Miller Tritton. The heritage-listed Royal Insurance Building will become a 90-room hotel and spa. The firm is looking for an operator to run the business.

AIRC design

Construction firm R G Carter has started construction on a £35m Aerospace Integration Research Centre (AIRC) at Cranfield University in the UK.

The centre, to be developed at the Bedfordshire site, will be used to design aircraft in the future.

Designs for the facility have been created by architects CPMG.

The proposed three-storey building will feature open laboratory space on the ground floor, which will be able to house large airframe integration projects, along with presentation and visualisation space, as well as state-of-the-art simulation facilities on the middle floor.

The top floor will be a designated open plan office environment where researchers and engineers both at the university and from its partner companies will be able to work together.

"Our design was selected from a number of competitors as we portrayed the strength of the university’s academic research within the architecture of the building."

A glazed, triple-height ‘ideas space’ will be act as the public face of the building offering room for exhibitions and conferencing, along with informal meeting areas.

CPMG design director Hugh Avison said: "We made sure the designs for the facility not only met the brief to provide the space and functionality that was needed, but also reflected the university’s strong architectural identity, which already has a number of flagship buildings.

"Our design was selected from a number of competitors as we portrayed the strength of the university’s academic research within the architecture of the building."

The centre, which is a part of is the university’s £54m investment initiative in aerospace and transport facilities, is expected to be operational from late 2016.

The entire project is being co-funded by Rolls-Royce, Airbus, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and Cranfield.


Image: Design of the planned Aerospace Integration Research Centre (AIRC) at Cranfield University, UK. Photo: courtesy of CPMG Architects Ltd.

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