Sphere Fluidics has achieved recognition for their ground-breaking work in the development and commercialisation of single cell analysis technology underpinned by its patented picodroplet technology. The company recently received investment which has enabled them to action their growth strategy.
With two sites at Babraham Research Campus and a small office space at Granta Park, they found another premises on the Park which would double their overall capacity as well as a view to expand further. This investment in purpose-built facilities supports their ongoing recruitment and growth in new product development activities.
Repurposing to create state-of-the-art labs & offices
COEL was tasked with the complete design and fit-out of Phase One of the new premises. The ground floor property Sphere Fluidics were moving into had previously been used as a conference and library space, consequently, the entire layout needed to be re-thought to deliver their team a new state-of-the-art facility.
The recent surge in life science investment has led to demand outstripping supply of laboratory space. As a response to this deficit in the market the COEL team has become very experienced in the re-purposing of commercial space to lab space for clients.
Our mandate from Sphere Fluidics was to provide a cohesive work environment, which provided all requirements for office work, whilst also delivering advanced laboratory space and storage for their innovative research and development.
The floorplan was divided into designated areas with the office and kitchen space set to one side and the laboratories, storage, and gowning areas to the other. Our response provided:
Adaptable office space
The light filled office is a sleek and modern design, entailing rows of fixed seating softened with the instalment of attractive planting schemes.
A large meeting room is branched off from this open plan area to provide a room for group discussions, hosting clients, or video conferencing. The room has a central folding door, providing the ability to segregate the large room into two smaller rooms as required.
Communal spaces to support employee wellbeing
Past the office space is a bright and contemporary kitchen. Elegant, upholstered banquette seating, bistro style tables and a boutique style tea point radiate a welcoming look and feel.
There is a breakout space within the kitchen with softly furnished seating, side tables and plant displays. This accentuates the social nature of the space and encourages staff to take a break and relax in this communal and more informal setting.
Cutting-edge, bespoke lab space
The designated laboratories were designed and fitted out bespoke to the client’s needs. They include wet and dry labs, gowning areas, storage, and service rooms; these cutting-edge laboratories are a showcase for Sphere Fluidics’ technology.
As with all laboratory retrofitting, there are many factors to be considered with converting commercial space into lab space, the most important being zoning, electrical, plumbing and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). All engineering was designed and fitted to provide optimum operational benefit to each of the labs’ individual requirements.
Flexible furniture & storage solutions
The furniture and layout of each space needed to be carefully considered, ensuring the right amount of equipment space and workspace for each lab.
Taking this into account, many of the cabinets, drawers and even work benches installed have been placed on castors allowing for flexibility in the use of the floor space and designated zones. Fine detail was considered in the choice of specified flooring, finishes, and handles to keep a continuous and consistent look for all the labs.
State-of-the-art tech to maximise impact
The demonstration lab however, needed to have a strong sense of corporate identity, as it will be used to give customers the opportunity to view the Company’s Cyto-Mine® – a next generation single cell analysis system for antibody discovery and cell line development.
An interactive lazy Susan installed within a central island in the room, enables advanced displays in a range of formats via an intuitive interface; it is capable of interoperating within a wide range of networks.
Subtle branded elements to enhance identity
The company logo can be found on both the surround of the central island and on the wall facing the monitors. In contrast to the other labs, the interior is full of colour, combining the corporate deep blue of Sphere’s logo alongside a warm dusky shade of clay.
Dimmable lighting was fitted in this room, providing an adjustable backdrop to complement the accent lighting which highlights and provides an emphasis on the lazy Susan and its instrumental functions.
Sphere Fluidics’ workspace has been designed and fitted out with a clear vision to provide an aspirational workspace for their team. It is an attractive, safe, and well-structured space, which is an appealing draw when recruiting and in helping retain staff.
It showcases Sphere Fluidics’ advanced technology, enabling engagement with customers, investors and other third parties.
- Size: Approx. 7000 sq ft
- Headcount: Approx. 30 in the office and 30 in the laboratories
- Location: Granta Park, Cambridge