About Neuron Pod
‘Neuron Pod’ – a striking 23-metre long and 10-metre high free-standing structure – opened its doors as an informal science learning centre at Queen Mary University of London’s Whitechapel campus.
Their original embryo-shaped science education centre was the first in the world to be located within working biomedical research laboratories. Planned to address demand, Neuron Pod will help increase visitor numbers, and provide a multi-functional space for live science shows, hands-on workshops, experiments, debates, films and exhibitions.
Neuron Pod is designed by the late Professor Will Alsop OBE RA at aLL Design, creator of the existing Pod and surrounding Blizard Institute, which has won numerous design awards. Its design is inspired by images of a nerve cell, following on from the four pods inside the building that were inspired by other cells or molecules.
Construction of Neuron Pod began in April 2018, which involved welding together 13 large steel sections, each arriving one by one through the Dartford Crossing, with some requiring police escort due to their size.
Neuron Pod will also assist in hosting new adult initiatives in the evenings, provide activities for Key Stage 4 (age 14 – 16) and sixth form school visits, improve disabled access, and increase the Centre’s ability to develop programmes for young people with learning difficulties. There are also plans to lease the space for community and corporate events.
Funders of the £2m project include the Wellcome Trust, Queen Mary University of London, Barts Charity, Wolfson Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, Hobson Charity and Gosling Foundation.
Design and construction also involved Total Construction, Littlehampton Welding and AKT II.
Professor Fran Balkwill, Director of Centre of the Cell, Queen Mary University of London, said: “Neuron Pod will allow us to fulfil our potential and offer so much more to our visitors. What’s really important to us is that it increases our ability to interact with the local community. It will be exciting to see how this space evolves and we’re hoping it will become a space where people can let their imaginations run riot.”
To view the timelapse of Neuron Pod, which captures the onsite construction, and a video from AKT 11, which tells you the story behind the structural design of the Neuron Pod, please click on the videos to the right.
Click to see a timelapse of the Neuron Pod construction
Click to hear the story behind the structural design of Neuron Pod
4 Newark Street
London E1 2AT
Centre of the Cell
Garrod Building (Office 2.23)
London E1 2AD
Tel: 020 7882 2562