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The UK gets a new National Graphene Institute from Jestico + Whiles

Jestico + Whiles’ design delivers the National Graphene Institute with a space that is worthy of its world-leading research and incubation activity.

The UK gets a new National Graphene Institute from Jestico + Whiles


September 21st, 2015

The National Graphene Institute is dedicated to the development of graphene, and is an essential component of the United Kingdom’s aspirations to remain at the fore of the commercialisation of this pioneering and revolutionary material

Located in Manchester’s University Campus’ Science Quarter, the National Graphene Institute is housed within a compact 7,825m2 five-storey building, with the main cleanroom located on the lower ground floor to achieve best vibration performance. The ceiling of this clean room is smartly angled around the outside of the building so the cleanroom and scientists are visible to the public from the outside.

Jestica + Whiles design includes a second cleanroom, as well as laser, optical, metrology and chemical laboratories, offices and ancillary accommodation, including a seminar room that opens out on to a roof terrace with a bio-diverse roof garden. This adds an essential naturalist element to the otherwise cold world of graphene research.


Offices and labs are intermixed on all floors to offer individual research teams the facilities needed to operate coherently in one area. These teams are expected to include industry partners that will collaborate on research with the University. More than 35 companies from across the world have already chosen to partner with The University of Manchester on graphene-related projects.

An economic inner skin composed of a proprietary composite cladding panel system encloses the building, which provides weather tightness and thermal insulation throughout the building. Affixed to the outside of this inner skin is a separate, perforated stainless steel ‘veil’ which wraps around the volumes of the disparate elements of the building continuously, providing a unifying texture and coherent, fluid shape.

This veil is is made of hundreds of black mirror stainless steel panels, each one containing thousands of perforations, representing the equations used in graphene research.

Jestico + Whiles

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