Cranfield University’s Aerospace Integration Research Building (AIRC), which is helping to change the future design of aircraft, has received its second award in as many months. 

CPMG Architects’ design team was recognised for its work to deliver the £35m centre in the Best Large Commercial Building award category at the LABC East Awards.

Opened in October 2017, the AIRC will boost aerospace research capabilities in the UK, cementing the University’s reputation as the leading aerospace research institution in Europe. Researchers from both the University and business partners, including Airbus and Rolls-Royce, work under one roof. The Centre is researching ways of integrating advanced technologies to reduce the time from academic innovation to industrial application.

To enable this, the building is equipped with the latest aerospace research technology including air traffic management (ATM) and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) laboratories; flight simulators; a virtual wind tunnel; a FANUC robot in the intelligent automation centre; and a 1500 sq m open space work area, currently housing a full-size wing from an Airbus plane. Cranfield is the only university in Europe that brings together major aerospace research facilities such as the AIRC, an operational airport and runway on one connected site. 

Tracy Flynn, development manager at Cranfield University said: “I am so proud of the whole team from Design and Facilities to the end-users, who all worked hard to ensure that the building fulfils the requirements of the University, Rolls-Royce and Airbus.” 

Councillor Nigel Young, Central Bedfordshire Council Executive Member for Business and Regeneration, said: “Central Bedfordshire is at the heart of the emerging Cambridge – Oxford innovation corridor, an area with ambitions to become the UK’s Silicon Valley. We are delighted that Cranfield University is one of the pioneering aerospace and technology businesses who have chosen to be based here. It is no surprise therefore that their buildings are also winning awards. We look forward to watching how they use the new facilities to continue to generate pioneering research.”

CPMG Architects continues to work with the team at Cranfield University to help develop its estate further through additional design work for a new agri-informatics building, a water sciences building, and a fire station on the campus airfield.

Cranfield and CMPG group
Cranfield and CPMG staff

About Cranfield University

Cranfield University is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.