Wellcome Trust, Sulston Shared Facility

Wellcome Trust, Sulston Shared Facility

Proteus SC
Abell Nepp

A bespoke Proteus panel system has helped with the acoustics as well as the aesthetics of a refurbished building at the heart of the world-renowned Wellcome Trust Genome Campus.

More than 500 Proteus panels featuring almost 500,000 perforations clad an internal freestanding structure in the Shared Services Facility where collaboration areas aligned with campus vistas symbolise the importance of interaction and collaboration among the many institutes the campus is home to.

The project brief was to totally modernise, reorganise the space functions and refresh the finishes for the next 25 years by addressing thermal and acoustic performance and solar control issues in a collaborative break-out hub for scientists and visitors.

The refurbished building provides meeting rooms on a new mezzanine area with cantilevered sections, a new café, communal classroom, Ashburner library and Sanger Institute laboratories reception.

The bespoke Proteus system on the internal freestanding double-height structure comprises four layers. The face panel of sheet aluminium, perforated to help meet the architect’s acoustic requirements then coated post-fabrication with a special paint which gave a textured sand blasted effect.

Behind this is an acoustic veil in four vibrant shades of blue and green fabric manufactured from 100% worsted wool with a flame retardant coating. The crepe binding in the fabric creates an optical depth and an expression similar to stone but with a soft touch.

Between this veil and the metal lining layer is a 25mm resin-bonded mineral wool core acting as the acoustic absorber. All four layers were assembled in the Proteus factory and secured along all edges using the Proteus panel framing system.

The DNA molecule pattern which features on the internal “twisted box” elevations was designed by Proteus software into individual panels and then pixelated onto each panel using a specific criteria. From this, shop drawings were created for client review and then seamlessly passed through the Proteus production process.

In addition to the aesthetic and acoustic performance requirements of the panels, the support system was also bespoke – shallower than usual to maximise internal floor space but robust enough to tolerate potential impact from the building’s users and with enough tolerance for to achieve a precise finish.


Acoustic Panels - Proteus SC
  • Acoustic Panels - Proteus SC
  • Acoustic Panels - Proteus SC