Press Release from Umeå University

Constructions on the Medical Biology Centre now kick off

[2016-06-08] On Tuesday, the first sod was turned for a new Medical Biology Centre (MBC) at Umeå University. When the oldest building on campus, the Biology Building from 1961, is now being extended and rebuilt, frontier research at the Faculty of Medicine will be positioned under the same roof.

“The new centre means a strong investment in interactive and dynamic research and educational environments that promote international competitive operations. The objective is to provide internationally competitive conditions for experimental and translational research within various medical disciplines,” says Lena Gustafsson, Vice-Chancellor of Umeå University who turned the first sod together with David Carlsson, regional director of the northern Swedish branch of Akademiska Hus AB; Diana Berggren, dean at the Faculty of Medicine and Hans Lindberg, chairperson of the municipal executive board

The idea of the new centre is to create a swarming building with attractive premises that are characterised by creativity, sustainability and interdisciplinary research and education that in the long run will strengthen Umeå as a university town. The centre will become reality thanks to a refurbishment and an extension of the current Biology Building. Apart from the 10,000 square metre building getting an refreshing refurbishment – which in itself will lead to increased flexibility and more modern educational environments, laboratories and spaces for studying – the Biology Building will also be extended by about 1,700 square metres with offices, lecture rooms and also a multi-functional lecture room.

Photo of people at the turn of the first sod.
The atmosphere was positive at the turn of the first sod. Photo: Per Melander.

“A large proportion of the students at the Faculty of Medicine will gather under one roof here during their preclinical studies. Teachers and researchers at various departments can easily utilise each other’s know-how. In my mind, the centre has the potential to become a very attractive place to work and study,” says Diana Berggren, dean at the Faculty of Medicine.

During the refurbishment, existing systems for ventilation, lighting and electricity will be replaced in their entirety and the ambition is to environmentally certify the building. Akademiska Hus – which is Sweden's leading property company for universities and colleges – will also be building a walkable passage to the nearby Natural Sciences Building. The various operations that the building will house will start to move in from autumn 2017.

Illustration of the MBC Building.
From autumn 2017, various operations will be able to move in to the new MBC Building. Illustration: LINK Arkitektur.

“It feels amazing to finally stick the shovel in the ground and start building these new premises. We are so proud to be contributing to better conditions and opportunities for interdisciplinary research at Umeå University. The new premises are an important part in the work to strengthen both the University and the university town,” says David Carlsson, regional director of the northern Swedish branch of Akademiska Hus AB.

The refurbishment and extension is a part of the work of implementing the Campus Plan that was decided upon in 2015. The plan shows how the physical environment at the University should be developed in the future and contains several upcoming building projects.

Top photo: Per Melander

Download a high-resolution outline of the Medical Biology CentreIllustration: LINK Arkitektur.

Read more:

Umeå University to build state-of-the-art research environmentCampus in development

For more information, please contact:

David Carlsson, regional director of the northern Swedish branch of Akademiska Hus AB.
Phone: +46 70-646 31 19

Lena Gustafsson, Vice-Chancellor of Umeå University
Phone: +46 90-786 53 50

Malin Ferm, press officer at Akademiska Hus
Phone: +46 70-616 24 18

Editor: Anna Lawrence

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