Scientific research benefits enormously from regular and easy formal and informal interaction between different researchers and research groups, consequently opportunities for spontaneous meeting and interaction are built into the building design, with strong visual connections created between departments and colleagues. Lab and write-up spaces are arranged around a central atrium which incorporates generous circulation, break out spaces and booths to support informal meeting and professional collaboration as well as socialising. The Pears Building is a stand-alone facility with good access and service links to the existing hospital building. It was designed to be affordable in construction, easy to operate and maintain and adaptable to future research uses or further developments. It enhances the relationship between the Institute, Hospital and the wider public, contributing new landscaping and public realm. Given the energy demands of science-focussed buildings, the team considered sustainability as an integral part of the design from the outset, achieving a BREEAM Excellent rating. A holistic approach considered not just carbon, but operations, occupation, flexibility and life-cycle, and well-being.