Cranfield University’s striking Aerospace Integration Research Building (AIRC) has won a ‘Design Through Innovation Award’ at the regional RICS Awards. The design team from CPMG Architects was recognised for delivering an exceptional building design which has had a positive impact on communities.

Tracy Flynn, development manager at Cranfield University said: "CPMG’s approach to developing this unique building combined flair and individuality which ensures that the spaces within the building really work and are simple to maintain. This project has helped to position us at the forefront of aerospace research and education in Europe.”

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.

Nick Gregory, director for CPMG said he was proud of the teams who had been integral to making this project a success: “Cranfield University’s Aerospace Integration Research Centre is a flagship scheme that we were very proud to be involved in. The £35m centre is already helping to change the future design of aircraft. Our three-storey interpretation of a modern hanger offers state-of-the-art facilities for researchers, engineers and partner companies. Congratulations to everyone involved in helping to make this scheme such a success.” 

The AIRC project will now compete to be overall category winner at the national RICS Awards 2018 Grand Final, to be held in London in November 2018.


Notes for editors

The project team for AIRC was RG Carter, main contractor, Couch Perry Wilkes, mechanical and electrical consultants, Stewart Morris Partnership, structural engineers, Currie & Brown, project managers and Gardiner & Theobald, quantity surveyors.

About Cranfield University

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