New Henry Royce Institute Tops Out

29 November 2018

The Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials Hub, a new £150m national materials science research centre at the heart of The University of Manchester’s campus, was ceremoniously topped out yesterday by the University’s key stakeholders and project team.

Representatives from across the Henry Royce Institute partnership celebrate the building’s ‘topping-out’ ceremony. © Henry Royce Institute

Representatives from across the Henry Royce Institute partnership celebrate the building’s ‘topping-out’ ceremony. © Henry Royce Institute


Simona Peet. Ramboll

Simona Peet

Project Director
T: +44 7587 659 716
Ramboll. Lynden Spencer-Allen. Image courtesy of Paulina Sobczak Photography

Lynden Spencer-Allen

Technical Director
T: +44 7436 542 678

Related news

Construction begins on the Henry Royce Institute

Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre Celebrates Key Milestone

The Henry Royce Institute has celebrated a key milestone in the construction of its headquarters at the University of Manchester. A special event on 28th November marked the building’s ‘topping-out’ with representatives from across the Royce partnership coming together to celebrate. The event was marked by the raising of a ceremonial final girder to the building’s highest point, inscribed with famous words of the Institute’s namesake Sir Henry Royce; "Strive for perfection in everything you do. Take the best that exists and make it better. If it doesn’t exist, create it. Accept nothing as nearly right or good enough."

The Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials Hub is the latest building championing materials science research in the United Kingdom. Designed by architects NBBJ with a project team led by Arcadis; the design team includes contractor Laing O’Rourke, structural engineer Ramboll; building services engineer ARUP and Landscape Architecture by Gillespies.

The 16,000m2 Institute Hub building received planning permission in March 2017 and will be the base for the UK’s leading materials research and commercialisation, housing state-of-the-art equipment and collaborative space for industrial engagement.

The building is designed to promote ‘science on show’: Researchers and industry partners are linked through vertical connections and shared spaces, which offer strong visual links for staff and visitors between public areas and the laboratories. A triple height ground floor entrance space is open to the wider campus, and visually permeable layouts allow visitors glimpses of workspaces as they climb the staircase through a stepped, three-storey atrium.

Simona Peet, Associate at Ramboll, commented:

"Ramboll is delighted and privileged to be continuing our partnership with the University of Manchester, following the recently completed Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre, delivering this new flagship building which will be a national beacon of research excellence in advanced materials.

The Henry Royce Institute showcases recent advancement in concrete technology and the use of innovative methods/products (Filigran).  It is a testimony of how these technologies helped to bring to life a complex medium high-rise laboratory building that has demanded a solution of exceptional performance and architectural merit. Ramboll has considerable engineering expertise in the offsite construction and through “advanced digital engineering” and close collaboration with the contractor, architect and MEP engineers we were able to realise the full benefits this technology can bring, with due consideration for future adaptability as research demands develop over time.”

President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, said:

“The University is honoured to be the lead partner of the Royce Institute and home to its national hub. The Royce is a beacon for both research and application in this critical field and, as its Chief Scientist and our Regius Professor of Materials, Phil Withers, likes to say it is a national meeting place for UK advanced materials. That meeting place can be physical, of course, as demonstrated by this wonderful hub building but, as well giving us access to such impressive facilities, it also facilitates the bringing together of committed people to share their innovative thinking about new materials.”

Work on the new Henry Royce Institute is expected to be completed and the building fully operational by spring 2020.

Related Projects

Ramboll - The National Graphene Institute

National Graphene Institute, University of Manchester

State-of-the-art facility, dedicated to the study, research and development of graphene and its applications. Critical to the success of the project were the clean rooms (ISO standard 5 and 6 ) and laboratories that accommodate sophisticated research equipment, which have both extremely low-vibration and non-magnetic requirements, made extraordinarily challenging with the extreme intensity of services equipment.


240 Blackfriars Road
London SE1 8NW
United Kingdom
Tel:+44 20 7631 5291

Company registration

Company registration

Ramboll UK Limited. Registered in England & Wales. Company registration no. 03659970. Registered office: 240 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8NW

Other sites

Other sites