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Hot spot for innovation

The Cambridge Innovation Center works like a magnet on innovative startups: Amos Beech Architects & Designers completed phase 2 of the UK offcie in the Maxim office park on the M8 from Glasgow to Edinburgh.

The Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) creates the ideal breeding ground for innovative companies – with flexible offices equipped with the latest technology and ample opportunity to meet and collaborate. The company from Cambridge, Massachusetts already had various locations in the US, when it put the step to Europe in 2016 with Glasgow as first international location.

“They have started here with co-working offices in a ‘ Beta-space ‘,” says architect Alison Lyall from Amos Beech. In 2017, with 37,673 SqFt the CIC wanted more office space on the fourth floor of the new Maxim building. “We have designed this first phase. Because CIC lets space to innovative companies for which intellectual property plays an important role, it wanted many small offices that are lockable and also flexible and easy to expand, “said Lyall. At the same time, the status of the Maxim building means that there is little change to the structure of the building. Amos Beech managed to  plan the requirements within the building and the clean lines of the building form an organic and playful set of offices and meeting rooms.

Urban Jungle

The success of the community of startups, established companies and investors meant that this first phase of 43,055 SqFt was soon fully occupied. Therefore it was time this spring for the Grand opening of phase 2, with a surface of 37,673 SqFt on the fourth floor. Also this second phase with more than a hundred new office-, meeting and collaboration rooms was designed by Amos Beech Architects in collaboration with Cics own design team. “The structure this extension had to meet the same requirements as phase 1: completed offices in conjunction with shared spaces, with an organic layout of meandering course making you often runs towards the light, and shared spaces on the facade. But phase 2 has a completely different look & feel ‘. Along with CIC, we have chosen the theme “post apocalypse urban jungle”, with the accent on health, sustainability and innovation. “

A visit to this urban jungle is a real voyage of discovery thanks to the great variety of offices, colourful meeting rooms and pleasant shared spaces such as the kitchen and the living room with views of the city. In addition, this extension made way for a ‘ maker space ‘. Alison Lyall: “In the new part to create other special areas, you promote the interaction and you ensure that tenants out of phase 1 and phase 2 collaborate with each other more easily. A little movement is also very healthy. There is still more than in phase 1 deployed on circularity and sustainable materials, which are long-lasting. By a limited number of materials in different ways to make it come back, is diversity in the design created while at the same time the continuity and coherence between the spaces have guaranteed.

Tube gardens

Plants play an important role in the Interior of the second phase: they make the work environment healthier because they purify the air and humidify.  “We have the green concept developed together with Green Fortune.” In the course you’ll see the ‘ tube gardens ‘: a system of tubes with hanging plants in it, which are fed by means of water in reservoirs made of old vessels. The living room has a wall, plants in the kitchen hang the Chandeliers ‘ newly developed by Green Fortune ‘ Plant with automatic watering system.
Also art is included in the interior design : similar to phase 1 CIC now also involved local artists in the project, via the Glasgow Arttenders. Studio Benholm was responsible for the design of the ‘ Urban Jungle Living Room ‘. Another special element in the new part is the startling ‘ secret room’. This has a hidden door you pass, at first glance because he holds in a carpeted wall. The door gives access to a discussion area where it seems like you are inside a kaleidoscope is, thanks to the mirrored walls in combination with the striped carpet.


The basic comfort of the rooms is very high, says Van der Meulen. “CIC provides the ease of use by companies to offer: you can plug your equipment anywhere, all offices have direct or indirect daylight and are equipped with is-sta-agencies. Because lighting plays a crucial role, we have from the beginning worked with Light designers. ” Also the acoustics are good, thanks to the acoustic ceiling Islands and the carpet in the offices. “Duramique are cast floors In public areas of Duracryl”, says Lyall, “and for the course has developed especially for CIC a floor finish Bolon, fitting within the ‘ urban jungle ‘ theme. The composition was created in collaboration with kraaijvanger. The custom made furniture is designed by ourselves, the loose furniture is provided by Design brokers. ” The meeting rooms feature colourful wallpaper and have just as in phase 1 each a name, in this case of pigment colors such as Ultramarine and Gamboge. These denominations are created in cooperation with CIC.


Except a different look & feel knows phase 2 also some functional differences, partly derived from experiences with phase 1. The glass walls of the offices now no longer made it to the floor, but creates a dense strip at the bottom for a quieter picture. Lyall: “tenants can do what they want with their Office. By a band to the eaves to create office spaces do you avoid directly visible inside. We have in this phase also paid attention to the lighting. That was important in connection with the irregular shapes of the rooms. Furthermore, we have now in many more places green applied; in the first phase were only a few green walls. ” The result is an exciting, inspiring and healthy work environment where startups get all the space to grow. That the total of 80,728 SqFt office space of CIC is very popular with companies, evidenced by the fact that there is yet another extension is going to come. Van der Meulen: “there are already plans for phase 3.”