Plans revealed for new £10m Durham physics centre


Plans revealed for new £10m Durham physics centre


The new £10m building is designed by the world-renown architect, who has also conceived New York’s Ground Zero.


Paul Ramsbottom, chief executive of The Wolfson Foundation, described the new building as “distinctive and exciting”, which is an indication of the international reputation of the Centre’s two research institutes, giving a  “clear and recognisable identity in the context of Durham’s unique architectural heritage”.


The Ogden Centre was established in 2002 and currently houses integrated research into the fundamental properties of the universe from the smallest scales of elementary particles to the largest scales of the universe as a whole.

The rapid expansion and academic success of the centre require new research spaces that will be provided by the new building, and will help the Ogden Centre to maintain its leading global position in the decades ahead.


The Durham University has been promised financial contributions totalling £4.85m towards the scheme, £3.35 million from the Ogden Trust and £1.5 million from the Wolfson Foundation.


The new centre will be built next to the university’s physics department on South Road, Durham.


Two public consultations will be held on January 16 and 22 at the university’s Calman Centre. The prequalification phase will begin next month for a contractor to deliver the Daniel Libeskind-designed cosmology research building.


The University has seen a mixed response to the proposed research centre building in the past years. City of Durham Trust described the £50 project as a monstrous townscape disasater.

Vice-chancellor, Chris Higgins, said: “Durham is at the forefront of physics in Europe and these transformational gifts will ensure that we remain leaders in unravelling the secrets of the universe.


Professor Martin Ward, head of the physics department, said: “The new building will provide a tremendously stimulating environment and foster even closer synergies between the two institutes’ research areas.”


Photo: Building Design