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The Biosphere at Newcastle Helix

Award-winning life sciences facility located in one of the UK’s largest city centre innovation hubs based on the former Scottish & Newcastle Brewery site in Newcastle.

The exterior of a white walled building with regular square windows, in front of which is a grassy verge, all against a blue sky

Services (6)



Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom


​Newcastle City Council


​Ryder Architecture​

The Biosphere, a 7,200m² bio-science centre, is the first independent Newcastle City Council building at Newcastle Helix. The centre provides flexible laboratory and office accommodation for a range of bio-science, primary life science and healthcare companies, enabling them to carry out research and product development and support innovation and growth within the sector. The 24-acre Helix site has become an exemplar in sustainable urban development, attracting leading-edge science and technology organisations to a new community environment.

The building has been designed to be as flexible as possible and cater for the varying needs of ‘start-up’ pioneering businesses, facilitating their growth as their ventures flourish.

Gordon Reid, Partner, commented, "To develop a building that met the client’s brief and budget required a fully integrated design approach. To achieve this, the whole design team co-located to a shared design space for two weeks during Stage 2 and Stage 3. This allowed integrated solutions to be developed and tested quickly. Each discipline produced their concept design in a 3D Revit environment, which allowed a fully coordinated 3D design to be developed very early in the process."

Key fact

The floors of the buildings have been designed to mitigate their vibrational response for their use as precision laboratories.


Key fact

We were fully involved in the procurement process, including the selection of suitable contractors to construct the building and subcontractors to install the M&E services.


A flexible, modular approach was applied to the heating and cooling design utilising fan coil units, incorporating sufficient capacity for a wide range of cooling requirements and enabling efficient turn-down.