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Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

“In the jargon of business, the plant's demands did indeed dictate the design. But the architecture eventually seized control... From the roof, the factory appears to be ruled by geometry.”

Lincoln Caplan, The New Yorker, 14.11.1988

The INMOS scheme began as a design for a model microchip factory, which could be built quickly (operational within a year of start on-site) in a wide variety of locations, and could be expanded or otherwise adapted without disruption to production. The technical brief demanded highly controlled clinical conditions (protected from dust and vibration) for the manufacture of microprocessors, as well as conventional office space and a staff canteen.

The technical services run externally above a central ‘street’, supported by a steel framework from which the roof is suspended. This ‘street’ is the heart of the scheme, linking the ‘clean’ (microchip production) and the ‘dirty’ (office and support) wings of the building. Above this street, an exoskeleton of masts provides support to services and to the two wings, allowing for column-free and extendable space.

Off-site fabrication allows for quick assembly, with a flexible system that allows for the use of solid, opaque or transparent panels in cladding.

“In the jargon of business, the plant's demands did indeed dictate the design. But the architecture eventually seized control... From the roof, the factory appears to be ruled by geometry.”

Lincoln Caplan, The New Yorker, 14.11.1988

The INMOS scheme began as a design for a model microchip factory, which could be built quickly (operational within a year of start on-site) in a wide variety of locations, and could be expanded or otherwise adapted without disruption to production. The technical brief demanded highly controlled clinical conditions (protected from dust and vibration) for the manufacture of microprocessors, as well as conventional office space and a staff canteen.

The technical services run externally above a central ‘street’, supported by a steel framework from which the roof is suspended. This ‘street’ is the heart of the scheme, linking the ‘clean’ (microchip production) and the ‘dirty’ (office and support) wings of the building. Above this street, an exoskeleton of masts provides support to services and to the two wings, allowing for column-free and extendable space.

Off-site fabrication allows for quick assembly, with a flexible system that allows for the use of solid, opaque or transparent panels in cladding.

“In the jargon of business, the plant's demands did indeed dictate the design. But the architecture eventually seized control... From the roof, the factory appears to be ruled by geometry.”

Lincoln Caplan, The New Yorker, 14.11.1988

The INMOS scheme began as a design for a model microchip factory, which could be built quickly (operational within a year of start on-site) in a wide variety of locations, and could be expanded or otherwise adapted without disruption to production. The technical brief demanded highly controlled clinical conditions (protected from dust and vibration) for the manufacture of microprocessors, as well as conventional office space and a staff canteen.

The technical services run externally above a central ‘street’, supported by a steel framework from which the roof is suspended. This ‘street’ is the heart of the scheme, linking the ‘clean’ (microchip production) and the ‘dirty’ (office and support) wings of the building. Above this street, an exoskeleton of masts provides support to services and to the two wings, allowing for column-free and extendable space.

Off-site fabrication allows for quick assembly, with a flexible system that allows for the use of solid, opaque or transparent panels in cladding.

“In the jargon of business, the plant's demands did indeed dictate the design. But the architecture eventually seized control... From the roof, the factory appears to be ruled by geometry.”

Lincoln Caplan, The New Yorker, 14.11.1988

The INMOS scheme began as a design for a model microchip factory, which could be built quickly (operational within a year of start on-site) in a wide variety of locations, and could be expanded or otherwise adapted without disruption to production. The technical brief demanded highly controlled clinical conditions (protected from dust and vibration) for the manufacture of microprocessors, as well as conventional office space and a staff canteen.

The technical services run externally above a central ‘street’, supported by a steel framework from which the roof is suspended. This ‘street’ is the heart of the scheme, linking the ‘clean’ (microchip production) and the ‘dirty’ (office and support) wings of the building. Above this street, an exoskeleton of masts provides support to services and to the two wings, allowing for column-free and extendable space.

Off-site fabrication allows for quick assembly, with a flexible system that allows for the use of solid, opaque or transparent panels in cladding.

Key Facts

    Awards
  • 1986  Constructa Preis for Overall Excellence in the Field of Architecture
  • 1983  Eurostructpress Award
  • 1983  Financial Times 'Architecture at Work' Award Commendation
  • 1982  The Structural Steel Design Award

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Team

David Bartlett
Pierre Botschi
Mike Davies
Sally Eaton

Michael Elkan
Marco Goldschmied
Kunimi Hayashi
Tim Inskip

Julia Marks
Peter McMunn
Richard Rogers
John Young

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Date
1982-1987

Client
INMOS Ltd

Location
Gwent, UK

Gross Floor Area
8,900 m²

Structural Engineer
Anthony Hunt Associates

Services Engineer
YRM Engineers

Quantity Surveyor
GA Hanscomb Partnership

Contractor
Laing Management Contracting Ltd