Durham University has selected the renowned international architect who produced the master plan for Ground Zero, New York, to design a new building for its world-leading Physics researchers.

Daniel Libeskind, of Studio Daniel Libeskind (SDL) was also the architect for the Jewish Museum in Berlin, the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester, Denver Art Museum and the Run Run Shaw Creative Media Center in Hong Kong.

The architect will design a new landmark building for Durham University’s Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics, which houses the University’s internationally-leading Institute for Computational Cosmology and Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology.

Physics and Astronomy at Durham University were recently ranked in the World Top 50 in the prestigious QS World Rankings by Subject.  The new building will ensure the best possible facilities continue to maintain the University’s global profile for physics research and teaching.

The Ogden Trust, founded by Sir Peter Ogden, an alumnus of Durham’s Department of Physics, is a major donor to the project, and other alumni have invested in the project as well.

The building will be located next to the current Physics building on South Road, Durham. The current timetable for completion is by December 2015, subject to planning permission.

The boost for the local economy is anticipated to include an estimated 50 jobs for contractors during construction.

Professor Martin Ward, Head of the Department of Physics at Durham University, said:  “We are very excited to have selected renowned architect Daniel Libeskind to design this building, which we believe will be an asset not just for Durham University but for Durham City itself.

“It is intended that the building will complement the traditional buildings and landscape and it will also meet the highest industry standards for sustainability.”

Durham University has an exceptional international academic and public profile for Physics and Astronomy.  Research projects cover topics such as black holes, dark matter and the detection of new galaxies, along with investigations beyond the currently understood and accepted theory of physics, known as the Standard Model, which explains how particles interact.

Daniel Libeskind said:  “Durham University is a place with both great history and great vision. I am delighted to have been selected to design the new Department of Physics building.
“This building will serve as a state-of-the-art facility and will be an exciting new presence in the cultural and educational scene of Durham.”