Construction of the 50,000 sq ft Central Research Laboratory building will mark the first phase of works on the £200m Preston Barracks project, a mixed-use regeneration scheme.
Preston Barracks, once owned by the Ministry of Defence, has been derelict for decades. The whole redevelopment, designed by architects Studio Egret and TP Bennett, will include 369 new homes, 534 student beds, shops, cafes and workshops. The wider masterplan encompasses two University of Brighton sites to provide further student accommodation and academic facilities.
John Graham’s contract is for a seven-storey concrete-framed workspace building, targeting a BREEAM excellent rating. The Central Research Laboratory will provide workspace aimed at small businesses and start-ups. It is expected to complete by the end of 2019.
U+I development manager Sarah Chitty said: “We are excited to be underway with the construction of Preston Barracks, delivering a project that will breathe new life into a derelict site, and will support the economy, academic life and growth of Brighton. We’re proud to be working with Graham on the first phase of the project. Their commitment to supporting local communities and economies is closely aligned to our own vision to create long lasting benefits for the places in which we work. This building will provide much needed flexible office space for growing businesses and start-ups that will ultimately boost the business economy of the city.”
Graham development director Rob Joyce said: “Our main objective is to create a high-quality commercial building that will attract enterprising, high-growth companies to the area. We will work closely with U+I and the project team to ensure that it provides a range of functioning spaces that are tailored to the needs of the individuals using it, while fostering entrepreneurship and excellence in innovation.”
The project team working alongside Graham includes civil & structural engineer Hemsley Orrell Partnership, quantity surveyor Robinson Low Francis and principal designer Faithful & Gould.