This £9.7 million project known as the Kitchen Garden Enclosure, is reminiscent of the famous glass ceiling in the British Museum and will include a new exhibition centre, modern meeting rooms and a bar.
In total the Conference Centre will have undergone a £19 million renovation to modernise and improve all available facilities. The Kitchen Garden project is set to improve the international reputation of the Wellcome Trust Conference Centre as a site for scientific advancement and celebrates the communication, collaboration, achievement and creativity of the overall Genome Campus.
“This is a tremendous occasion for both my colleagues and I at the Conference Centre,” says Linda Prior, sales and marketing manager at the Conference Centre. “Not only will this place us at the forefront of the scientific conferences sector, but will also better integrate us into the wider vision of the Genome Campus.”
This new building work will see the current cloisters and grassed areas opened up and enclosed under a spectacular glass roof to create a multi-use space for both day and evening activities. The roof, which is the central feature of the build, is designed to create a light and elegant space through the transparent and translucent areas of glass panelling above.
By opening up the area surrounding the Auditorium, the Conference Centre will create space sufficient to support exhibitions both fixed and temporary, poster sessions, catering and a relaxation area for delegates and speakers.
The Conference Centre will look to host an increased programme of events, and in addition the internal space, will also house exhibitions and welcome wider audiences, including school children as part of the Campus’s Public Engagement Programme. The Wellcome Trust Conference Centre has already seen its restaurant capacity increased from 180 to 300 this year and is weeks away from the opening of a new suite of 64 bedrooms.
Ground breaking for this major project will begin on January 2014 and is due to be completed by December 2014. All facilities at the Conference Centre are due to be opened by January 2015.