Ellison Institute submits plans for Oxford cancer facility

New research and development facility will be designed by Foster + Partners and is focused on redefining cancer treatment and global health policy

The Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine has said that it has submitted a planning  application to Oxford City Council for a new research and development facility designed by Foster + Partners.

In a statement, the Institute said that the facility is devoted to re-imagining and redefining cancer treatment, whilst enhancing overall human health, as well as global health policy. The proposed layout for the facility will represent an integrated and flexible approach, with research laboratories, a clinic, educational spaces, and auditoriums, together with multifunctional areas arranged to encourage collaboration.

"This facility, its location, and design will play a pivotal role in helping us achieve our vision of not just redefining how cancer and disease are treated but improving the lives of patients around the world," said Dr David Agus, founding Director and CEO of the Ellison Institute. 

"We look forward to continuing discussions with Oxford City Council to ensure this project meets our combined high expectations environmentally, scientifically, and for the Oxford communities."

The proposed design reuses much of an existing building known as Littlemore House for multifunctional gathering space, he continued, pointing out that extensions are planned to the current structure to accommodate the research laboratories, as well as an imaging suite, and an oncology and wellness clinic that will treat patients on-site. 

The extensions will mimic the C-shape of the original Littlemore House structure, connecting the two buildings and resulting in a courtyard at its centre. A focal point of the new facility will be a sunken, 250-seat auditorium built directly at the property's core beneath the courtyard water feature, serving as a central gathering point and educational space for the scientists, researchers, clinicians, and interdisciplinary experts on site.

Encouraging Connections

In addition, there will be a newly constructed building built on the adjacent Plot 18 property on The Oxford Science Park. This will be home to further research laboratories and educational spaces. The design will reflect the materials used in the extension to Littlemore House to provide a strong visual connection between the two buildings, the statement continued.

While rectangular in structure, plans for the new building continue in the overall design's theme, with its research and educational spaces laid out purposefully to promote collaboration and flexibility. Architectural features of the new building will include a roof-top wooden geodesic dome that will overlook the surrounding tree canopy, providing another central gathering point for collaborative and educational uses.

An elevated, covered walkway is planned through existing and proposed tree cover between both sites to enhance access and allow for collaboration between buildings. A wooden dome structure is set at the midpoint of the walkway's design to serve as a meeting space for staff and visitors that will encourage movement and connection between the two buildings.

“With appreciation for the art and architecture of Oxford's existing buildings, the Institute has appointed a strong team that includes architect Norman Foster, landscape architect Fernando Caruncho, local project managers and town planners Ridge and Partners, and Laing O'Rourke for the construction,” the statement added.

The Ellison Institute is an interdisciplinary, patient-centred research facility that provides cutting-edge cancer care and wellness services, undertaking research initiatives that span the scientific spectrum to change how cancer and other diseases are treated globally. Alongside the flagship facility in Los Angeles, California, USA, the upcoming Oxford Campus is the second in a planned series of globally connected research campuses for the Institute, it concluded.

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