ARC - Advanced Research Centre

Take a look inside the ARC

The £113 million ARC will be a vibrant, creative and collaborative heart for the Western campus. It will house around 600 academics, postdoctoral researchers and PhD students working across five themes. The ground floor will be accessible to the University and the wider community and will become a forum for knowledge exchange and public engagement.

External website: 

Building info

Location: Western campus site

Expected Completion Date: Q2 2022
Size: 16836m2 
Cost: £113m
Architects: HOK

The ARC will bring world leading researchers together, breaking down organisational silos and facilitating collaboration.

By housing diverse teams within the same building, the ARC will expose individuals and research areas to each other, increasing opportunities for working cross-disciplinary working.

The ground floor of the ARC (level 2) will be open to staff, students and the general public and offer a mix of spaces for events and conferences, as well as team building and networking activity, and public engagement. 

This building also provides a unique opportunity to build stakeholder networks and partnerships by creating space to support industry engagement and enterprise activities.

Research themes

Research in the ARC will be initially focused around five thematic areas:

Creative Economies and Cultural Transformation – bringing together academics from disciplines such as creative and cultural policy, law, digital humanities and immersive technologies to have a significant impact on the creative economy of Glasgow and beyond.

Digital Chemistry – enabling molecules, compounds and materials to be autonomously discovered, synthesised and manufactured from code.  Bringing together expertise from chemistry, computing science and engineering this has the potential to be huge for transforming the production of pharmaceuticals.

International Development – natural scientists, vets, medics, engineers, educators, social scientists all come together to engage in poverty reduction in the global south.

Quantum and Nanotechnology – bringing together researchers from engineering and science and collaborating with health, energy and security sectors, Glasgow will be the go-to-place for research in quantum imaging and sensors.

Technology Touching Life – bringing together medicine, engineering and chemistry to focus on health care innovations such as drug discovery, regenerative medicines and stem cell technologies.

Level 2 - open to all staff, students and the general public

Virtual/Augmented Reality (VR/AR) Lab

The ARC will house one of the largest VR/AR suites in the UK. The layout will be customisable, comprising either three modules of 6x6m, or larger modules of 6x12m, or 6x18m.

Capable of accommodating up to 30 people, and with provision to feed video into meeting rooms or adjacent public areas, it will be a unique facility on the campus to advance understanding about how VR can be incorporated into research and teaching activities.

Post-Graduate Researcher area

The Research Hub will add to the University’s provision for PGR students with fifty workstations. The PGR area will have a focus on supporting cohort-based research activities as well as individual researchers.

Student Enterprise space

While the University’s Innovation Zone is under development, the ARC will provide an initial location with dedicated advisors for Glasgow’s 20-30 annual start-up student enterprises to develop their ideas and build an entrepreneurial community.  

Multi-use space

With room for approximately 30 people to move and interact, this space is a flexible and interpretive area for use in activities, exhibitions and creative practice.

It will accommodate various kinds of research practice not suited to ‘cleaner’ lab or meeting room settings, as well as providing a space tailored for outreach activities.

Maker Lab

The Maker Lab will provide access to equipment necessary to bring ideas to life, supporting activities such as design, development and light prototyping of products.

It will be targeted towards those who have ideas which require development, and those with skills to share. It echoes the holistic aim of the ARC, to bring together people from different backgrounds and expertises, from junior researchers to senior academics, to share insights and work together.

Seminar & Meeting Rooms

The ARC will provide a step change in the collaboration spaces available to researchers on campus, with around fifty bookable seminar and meeting rooms across the building.  Meeting rooms range from small 2-3 person spaces up to boardroom size and include long-booking project rooms intended to be used during preparation of large collaborative research proposals or when working with external partners.

The Level Two seminar rooms will be particularly aimed at public events and to host international speakers and academic conferences, helping to strengthen our international research partnerships and reputation. This floor houses eight formal meeting spaces of various sizes including a large seminar room with seating for 140 people, sub-dividable into two spaces of 70 and including large screens and AV/IT facilities. There will also be a smaller seminar room with 60 seats, which can be subdivided into two 30-seater rooms, in addition to informal seating and smaller breakout spaces.  In addition to the Café, Level Two will have a separate kitchen to support light catered events.

Atrium and Exhibition Space

The centrepiece of the building is its large, full height atrium together with a public exhibition space.  These areas will showcase the University’s research and provide facilities to accompany events and conferences taking place in the large seminar rooms.

Project delivery board