A new facility for research and digitisation improving storage conditions and access to the NHM collection.

Natural History Museum collections research and digitisation centre
NHM Collections, science and digitisation centre flythrough

This highly technical building will expand access to and understanding of the Natural History Museum (NHM) collection. The centre will be home to around 28 million specimens, around a third of the museum’s collections, alongside facilities for innovative digital, analytical and genomic technologies and workspaces.

The building is designed to be a light-filled, uplifting working environment for both NHM staff and visiting researchers, as well as a base for new collaborations and partnerships.

Key Information

Sector: Workplace, Science & Innovation, Regenerative Design & Sustainability

Client: Natural History Museum

Location: Reading

Completion: 2027

Size: 25,000sqm

A closer view of life on earth

The Museum’s new facility will improve collections access – physically and digitally – to the scientific community. Digitisation of the collection will be accelerated, with new techniques and technologies applied to collections-based research. Increased accessibility will enhance solutions-led research spanning: climate change, biodiversity loss, health and sustainable resourcing, ultimately strengthening the UK’s position in finding solutions to the planetary emergency.

Housed at the new centre in bespoke storage will be the Museum’s collections of mammals, non-insect invertebrates (such as corals, crustaceans, molluscs and worms), fossilised mammals and invertebrates, molecular collections and micropalaeontology.

The facility will include an imaging and analysis centre, including digitisation suites; state-of-the-art molecular biology laboratories, including ancient DNA labs; cryo-facilities for tissue storage; conservation labs; and specimen preparation labs, including quarantine facilities.

For the Planet

The new facility will allow the Museum to drive forward scientific innovation and translate research into action against the planetary emergency.
The building itself will be energy-efficient, a net-zero carbon building in both construction and operation and will sit in a landscape designed for nature. Planted with native trees and shrubs and wildflower rich grasslands the project aspires to deliver a Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) of 20%.


Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Civil, Structural and MEP Engineer
Cost Consultant
Project Manager
CPC Project Services
Landscape Architect
Grant Associates