Vision for The Materials Innovation Centre
Few of us consider the vital importance of materials science to almost every aspect of our modern lives, from silicon computer chips to the concrete our cities rely on. Yet, the sector is in crisis, struggling to attract funding and enthuse young people.
My vision is for The MIC to be the UK ‘home’ for materials science, both as a visitor attraction and a functional scientific platform; driving excitement, innovation, and ultimately inspiration.
MIC is intended as a landmark building in Bristol, giving a tourist presence outside Temple Meads station, connecting to the ferry port and onward to the City’s other cultural attractions.
Inspired by Brunel’s own Goods Shed which once sat on the site, the MIC adopts a folded plate concrete shell structure pierced by erupting timber laboratories as symbols of scientific progress; ‘science unveiled’. Expressive of the nature of the materials themselves and introducing water reinforces the journey from trains to boats. Like the scales of materials science, macroscopic to nanoscopic, MIC includes a centrepiece Atrium with smaller retreat areas with niche opportunities to see materials scientists at work with cutting edge technology.