Ogden Center for Fundamental Physics at Durham University

Durham University commissioned Studio Libeskind to create a new university building to accommodate their expanding student body and staff, as well as to house a new research facility for the study of fundamental physics. The Ogden Centre provides seventy-two new offices for professors, lecturers, doctoral students, postdoctoral researchers, support staff and visiting academics of the Institute for Computational Cosmology (ICC)  the Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy (CEA) and the Centre for Advanced Instrumentation (CfAI).

Light and openness is at the core of the design for the Ogden Centre. A spiral in plan, the Centre appears to be two stacked forms clad in a larch rain screen with bands of windows and terraces cutting across the facades. The program called for a series of small work spaces for research. Instead of creating dark cubicles, the design team placed all the offices in a ring, so each space has a window with natural light with a frosted glass door to create a luminous and open program throughout. Generous roof terraces create communal areas to relax and enjoy fresh air. Skylights marshal light into the central atrium and flexible meeting areas.

With sustainability at the heart of its design, care has been taken to minimize environmental impacts and ongoing running costs, and to ensure excellent value for money. The Design Team worked to deliver a state of the art and fully accessible facility, with robust materials and future-proofed capacity in IT infrastructure. At the same time the construction provided for flexibility in its internal planning and received a status of BREEAM Excellent standard of sustainability.

The project was completed in November 2016.



2017 – AIA (American Institute of Architects) NY State Design Award, 2017 – Constructing Excellence in the North East: Building Project of the Year, 2017 – RIBA North East Regional Award, 2017 – BREEAM Excellent rating, 2016 –  City of Durham Trust Architectural Award



More about this project

Jared Olmsted

Jared joined Studio Libeskind in 2007. He has made significant contributions to wide variety of international projects at the Studio ranging from large scale urban masterplans and skyscrapers to intricate museums, academic and residential buildings including the Yongsan International Business District masterplan, Seoul, Tampere Central Deck and Arena, Finland, and the Haeundae Udong Hyundai I’Park in Busan. Most recently Jared worked on Corals at Keppel Bay, a luxury residential development in Singapore and the Ogden Center at Durham University in Durham, UK.

Jared has a background in interdisciplinary collaboration having worked for architects, artists and professional fabrication companies for more than a decade including the fabrication and installation of a floating bronze staircase for James Turrell’s Roden Crater project with Fabrication Specialties Ltd in Seattle and an installation for the artist Roxy Paine in New York City.

Jared earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he earned dual degrees in architecture and sculpture and his M.Arch from Columbia University in New York City.